As gyms slowly reopen their doors, the question is how gym-goers will continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With the virus reaching its peak and no vaccine, gyms are one place you’ll want to take extra precautions.
Fitness buffs have eagerly awaited this day since the nationwide closure of gyms. With gyms reopening, despite the continued spread of COVID-19, there’s sure to be a flood of people wanting to get back into their routine. However, there is concern given the traffic gyms draw and the multitude of hands that touch the equipment. Asymptomatic gym-goers who unknowingly carry COVID-19 may spread the infection.
Although gyms say they are taking COVID-19 precautions, including required hand washing and temperature checks, gym-goers should take precaution. Follow these tips recommended by health experts to stay safe at the gym during COVID-19.
- Stay six feet apart.
Just like at the grocery and any other public space, it’s best to adhere to the six-foot rule at the gym. Keep some space between you and other gym-goers. This means not exercising next to or behind others. It also means not sharing lanes in the pool and washing your hands after touching ladders.
- Wear a mask.
This one is tough. If you can, wear a mask in the duration of your time at the gym. For runners, this may not be an easy feat, but is crucial to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Bring your own bottle to the gym—water bottle, that is. Avoid using drinking fountains where germs are likely to stick around. If you use a sweat towel, it’s best to bring that from home, too.
- Wipe down equipment.
Although this is something you should’ve been doing in the first place, be sure to wipe down equipment. This means before and after use to kill and COVID-19 germs.
- Utilize virtual classes.
If you’re a fan of attending group fitness classes at your gym, see if they are offered virtually for now. This way, you can practice social distancing and still attend class.
- Stay home if you’re at risk.
Don’t go to the gym if you’re at risk of contracting COVID-19. This applies to older folks, the immunocompromised, and asthmatics. If you really have to go to the gym, contact your doctor and review the gym’s safety measures first.
It’s understandable that you’d want to get back into the swing of things, especially at the gym. However, COVID-19 is still on the rise and public spaces like gyms should be approached with caution. If you must go to the gym, be sure to follow the six-foot rule, bring your own accessories, and thoroughly wipe down equipment. If you can, look for virtual classes or check out these free fitness apps you can use at home.
Yes, physical fitness is an important part of your overall health. Yet you need to be virus-free to exercise the way you want to. Proceed with caution in going to the gym and use at-home or virtual options when you can to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
Stay safe and healthy!