Gym Safety in the Time of COVID-19
Well, here is some good news… we think.
After months of isolation during this COVID crisis, many states are finally starting to open up and ease restrictions.
For some, this may seem a little scary.
But for many, this signals the start of returning to life as normal (or at the very least, more normal than the last 60 days).
It also means that for those of you who’ve been missing the gym, you may now be able to start back up with your normal workout routines.
But not so fast!
A return to the gym also carries with it certain health risks inherent to the new “normal” we are facing. So before you rush out and jump on that treadmill, make sure you are taking proper precautions to keep yourself safe and healthy.
We’ve put together some tips below to help you in your quest to remain COVID-free.
First, follow the standard precautions of the CDC and local authorities when it comes to public exposure.
This includes things like:
- If you go out, wear a cloth face covering.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze and then wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after.
Second, we recommend you call your gym beforehand.
Ask about the facility’s cleaning and disinfecting policies, whether you’ll be able to use the locker room or bathroom, and how they are keeping their occupancy reduced. You may need to schedule your workout sessions ahead of time vs. just showing up when you feel like it.
Third, maintain social distancing.
Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from other members. There is a good chance that your gym has already taken precautions to aid with this by blocking access to every other cardio machine and spacing equipment on the floor.
Fourth, realize that sharing equipment at the gym is a necessary evil, so avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth during your workouts.
Also, clean equipment before and after using it. This assumes the gym is providing the needed sanitary items to clean with, and if they don’t – it might be time to find a new (and cleaner) gym.
Realize some equipment may be too difficult (or even impossible) to clean properly, such as foam rollers and yoga blocks, so our suggestion would be to avoid these completely or bring your own.
Finally, If you’re at higher risk of serious illness, you might consider waiting to return to the gym altogether.
Ask if your gym offers virtual classes or training. And if they don’t, find some workouts that you can do at home with little to no equipment. We put together a shortlist for you here.
Yes, for most of us the opportunity to get back to the “norm” is welcomed news. But, we still need to be smart when it comes to taking precautions for staying healthy and reducing the risk of spreading any illnesses like COVID-19.