When the COVID-19 pandemic began, gyms and fitness centers had to close as advised by health experts. Gyms are considered high-risk venues. They are closed public places where people expire more than regular since they engage in physical activities while inside. As a result, there is a higher risk of transmission of the novel coronavirus.
But in recent months, gyms are starting to open again. They’re implementing many restrictions to ensure the safety of all gym-goers and staff.
In a way, the reopening of gyms is a good thing. The pandemic has made people become more inactive and practice sedentary behavior. And they can result in health risks, such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular illnesses. Thus, giving people access to fitness equipment will encourage them to become physically active again.
It’s important to note that the pandemic is still not over. Thus, gym-goers should stay vigilant and do what they can to stay safe. Here are some things to keep in mind when going to the gym in the middle of a pandemic:
Check Your Gym’s Policy
To ease your mind, consider checking on your gym. Ask what their cleaning practices are and how often they clean. Also, check if they follow CDC protocols. Ask how many patrons they accept at a time and which hours have lower volume.
Knowing these things can help you make the changes needed to ensure your safety. For example, you can book a gym visit during off-hours so that there aren’t many people around.
Bring Your Own PPE
Going out with a mask on should be as natural as any habit you have. But you also need to have extra pieces apart from the one you’ll already be wearing when you get out of the house. You’ll also need other personal protection items such as a hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, soap, paper towels, your own bath towel, and disposable gloves.
Wipe Down Surfaces
Make it a habit to wipe down surfaces before touching them. Gyms have their own cleaning routines. But it’s not wrong to take extra measures. If you’re going through doors, wipe the knobs before touching them. The same thing goes with all the gym equipment that you need to touch.
Take Things Easy
You need to wear a mask while you’re in the gym. So you should do low-intensity exercises to make it easier to breathe through your mask. Also, if you’re only getting back to exercising after a long period of inactivity, low-intensity exercises will help you get the workout you need without overdoing your body.
Instead of running on the treadmill, consider doing a long power walk instead. You can also try pedaling on a bike.
Keep Your Distance
Social distancing is most crucial in indoor public places. So make sure that while you’re in the gym, keep a distance of at least six feet from other gym-goers and the staff.
You can also try to limit your interactions with the staff as much as possible. For example, book your visit in advance. Also, know which pieces of equipment are no longer available in the gym so that you can bring things you might need, such as an exercise mat and resistance bands. This way, you no longer need to ask the staff on-site and keep a safe distance from them.
Keep Your Visit as Concise as Possible
Since gyms are considered high-risk venues, make your visit as quick as possible. For example, consider planning your workout before going to the gym. This way, you can ballpark how long you need to be there. How many minutes will you spend on a treadmill or the elliptical machine? What other gym equipment will you use? For how long? If you’re not sure what your exercise routine should be, consult weight loss specialists to get a tailored workout plan.
Also, wear your workout clothes on your way so that you no longer have to go to the gym’s bathroom to change. After your workout, you should go straight home and clean up there instead.
Alternatively, Exercise at Home Instead
You can do many things to keep yourself safe while you’re at the gym. But ultimately, the best option is still to stay at home. There are many fitness videos on the internet that you can follow. You can also hire an online fitness trainer if you prefer.
Even though gyms are reopening, we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. If you have no choice but to go to the gym, you need to be extra careful.