The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic forced gyms around the world to close. Now, gyms are reopening with new safety measures.
Gym life won’t be the same as it used to be. However, by following basic safety guidelines and tips, you can still get a good workout.
Keep reading to discover the best COVID-19 coronavirus safety tips and procedures for your next visit to the gym once the quarantine lockdown restarts.
- 1 Should You Go to the Gym? Is It Safe?
- 2 Tips for Staying Safe at the Gym
- 2.1 Go During Off Hours
- 2.2 Wear a Mask While Working Out
- 2.3 Avoid Classes
- 2.4 Sanitize Everything
- 2.5 Shower at Home
- 2.6 Limit Locker Room Time
- 2.7 Choose Gyms with Good Ventilation and Spacing
- 2.8 Choose a Gym Taking the Pandemic Seriously
- 2.9 Boost Immunity by Exercising Regularly
- 2.10 Change Clothes as Soon As You Get Home
- 2.11 Change and Wash Clothes Regularly
- 2.12 Wash your Shoes
- 2.13 Avoid Team Sports or Facilities
- 2.14 Avoid Working Out Next to Anyone
- 2.15 Ask About your Gym’s Sanitization Procedures
- 3 Final Word
Should You Go to the Gym? Is It Safe?
Fitness is important. Some people can happily workout from home or safely run outdoors. Others, however, need the gym for exercise.
If you’re itching to get back to the gym once the coronavirus eases up and fitness centers reopen, then it may or may not be safe to do so. It depends on your region, your personal aversion to risk, and your underlying health conditions.
If you follow two meter (six feet) social distancing rules, sanitize everything, and wear a mask, then you’re much safer at the gym than someone who does none of those things.
It also depends on your gym’s safety protocols. Some gyms are taking the coronavirus seriously, using extra measures to sanitize everything and enforcing social distancing. Other gyms have implemented no changes whatsoever, simply following the same procedures as before. There is also the ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure mentality where many have considered the proactive approach of using immunity boosters to enhance overall immunity to help as an extra layer of defense should any complications arise after coming in contact with gym equipment or the facility's actively returning members.
Ultimately, it’s complicated: we can’t definitively state whether or not it’s safe for you to return to the gym and be the first in line to go through post quarantine procedures that most gyms will likely implement once the green-light is back on. What's safe for some people may not be not others. Consider your personal circumstances, your gym’s policies, and regional factors. Should one be compelled or ready and willing to re-enter their gym of choice, here are a few top tips to tally up in your favor just as a way to slowly, yet smartly reintegrate going back to the gym on a daily or weekly basis once the pandemic's stoppage is only an after thought.
Tips for Staying Safe at the Gym
Ready to return to the gym sometime in the summer or fall of 2020? By following basic tips and safety protocols, you can reduce your chances of getting sick or infecting others while getting back into your fitness groove at the gym.
Here are some of the best tips for staying safe at the gym during and after the COVID-19 pandemic that are simple, yet optimally effective methods to utilize in your post coronavirus era of returning to your favorite gym again.
Go During Off Hours
The fewer people at the gym, the better. Go to your gym during off hours. The least busy hours tend to be in the mid-morning, mid-afternoon, or late at night. Many people have adopted flexible, work from home schedules during the COVID-19 pandemic. Take advantage of this flexibility to visit your gym during off hours.
Wear a Mask While Working Out
Wearing a mask while working out may be uncomfortable, but it can significantly reduce infection rates. Wearing a mask can protect you from getting sick, and it can also prevent you from infecting others. Remember: approximately 25% to 50% of infected individuals show no symptoms. A single gym member without a mask could infect hundreds of other gym-goers.
Face masks have become a common occurrence in 2020 and some gyms now require you to wear a mask while working out. If you’re concerned about safety, consider visiting a gym that enforces a mask policy.
You might love classes at your gym, but they’re not recommended during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many gyms are no longer offering classes, although some gyms are offering classes with smaller groups. One local gym reduced its normal class sizes from 50 people to 20 people, for example, with members required to maintain social distancing during the workout. While home workouts are on the rise, who doesn't understand the need for another alternative outlet to get your fitness game strong again no matter how well exercising at home was during the few months everything was locked down and non operational.
If you must take a class, follow social distancing guidelines. Stay as far away from other gym goers as possible, and sanitize anything you touch before and after using it.
Even before COVID-19, it was good practice to sanitize everything at the gym before and after using it. With COVID-19, sanitization is even more important. UV light sanitizers captured the attention of many in 2020 as a portable, mobile way to disinfect and sterilize germs with common devices or areas of use.
Spend a few seconds sanitizing your equipment before and after using it. Most gyms have sanitization wipes or spray bottles. Wipe the handles, seat, and anything else you contact. Wipe down dumbbells, barbells, weights, mats, and everything else you touch at the gym. It is also smart to consider mini hand sanitizers to use or just wear gloves and long tights as a precaution to reduce limited exposure.
Shower at Home
You might love showering at your gym, but it’s not a good idea during the COVID-19 pandemic. Avoid showers and other communal facilities at your gym. Limit locker room time. Avoid touching things that other people have touched. Showering at home can significantly reduce the chances of getting sick or spreading illness to others. Of course, this also gives anyone the ability to apply beauty products or routine optimally than scrambling to get out of the gym showers; such as red light therapy or anti-wrinkle creams.
Limit Locker Room Time
Gym locker rooms aren’t generally spacious. The more time you spend in a crowded locker room, the higher your chances of being infected. Even if the locker room isn’t crowded, the locker room has plenty of communal items – like lockers, door handles, and bathroom facilities. You may be careful about sanitizing your gym equipment, although many people do not consider sanitizing locker room items.
Some gyms have closed locker rooms entirely to reduce the spread.
Limit locker room time. Or, consider changing at home.
Choose Gyms with Good Ventilation and Spacing
Gyms with good ventilation and spacing have much lower chances of transmitting disease than crowded gyms with poor ventilation. Consider visiting a different gym for the next few months. Or, choose a different gym location. Your gym’s downtown location might be small and crowded, while a location in the suburbs has much more space. Others are also considering using products like the Blaux Wearable AC as a personal air cooler and air purifier or even the Blaux Portable AC air conditioning unit that is a purifier, humidifier and cooler.
Choose a Gym Taking the Pandemic Seriously
Some businesses are taking the pandemic seriously, while others are not. If you’re concerned about the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, then it’s important to choose a gym taking the pandemic seriously.
Some gym owners are reopening with no changes in place. They believe the pandemic is a hoax or has been over-hyped. Other gym owners have hired extra cleaning staff, are sanitizing equipment every hour, and are implementing other policies. If you’re reading this article on coronavirus gym tips, then we assume you’re taking the pandemic seriously – so you should choose a gym that treats it the same way.
Boost Immunity by Exercising Regularly
Exercise has a proven effect on immunity. People who exercise regularly tend to have better immune systems than people who do not exercise.
Plus, staying fit and healthy can improve your body’s ability to fight infection. Many victims of COVID-19 have conditions like obesity or poor lung capacity that appear to increase your chances of dying from the illness. Getting regular exercise could be the difference between life and death. Even breathing trainers have rose in popularity because of this as a way to support lung health and work on breathing capacity.
People who don’t exercise regularly may develop Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), a lung condition where your lungs do not have strong capacity. ARDS can increase your chances of severe complications linked to respiratory illnesses – like the coronavirus.
Change Clothes as Soon As You Get Home
If you’re unable or unwilling to use the locker room at your gym, then change your clothes as soon as you’re able to once you get home. Take off your clothes as soon as you walk in the door, then wash your clothes.
Change and Wash Clothes Regularly
You might wear the same yoga pants for one or more workouts, but it’s a good idea to wash your clothes more regularly during the pandemic. Any clothes that you wore outside could hold germs. You could transmit germs from your gym to other people in your house. Or, you could transfer germs from outside into your gym.
Wash your Shoes
You think about washing your hands and sanitizing equipment, but you may forget about washing your shoes. Ideally, you should wear a clean pair of shoes just for your gym. Consider cleaning the bottom of your shoes before placing them in your bag at the end of your workout. Or, leave your shoes outside when you get home.
Avoid Team Sports or Facilities
Your gym might have a basketball court or similar facility, but you may want to avoid these facilities for now. It’s easy to transfer germs even with non-contact team sports. Many sports also require you to contact shared equipment – like a basketball.
Avoid Working Out Next to Anyone
Most people didn’t like using cardio machines next to someone even before the coronavirus. Today, it’s even more important to avoid working out next to anyone.
Some gyms have moved cardio and workout equipment further apart to maintain social distancing requirements, although other gyms have not. Take extra care when using equipment. People breathe more heavily when running or biking, which could mean more aerosolized droplets. Using a cardio equipment within six feet of an infected individual could lead to infection.
Ask About your Gym’s Sanitization Procedures
Some gyms have invested in more cleaning. They might sanitize equipment every hour, for example, and perform a deep cleaning every night. Ask about your gym’s sanitization procedures. Some gyms have changed procedures entirely, while others have announced no changes.
COVID-19 doesn’t have to prevent you from working out. These tips help you get a good workout regardless of the pandemic.
Exercise can prevent you from getting sick. Exercise boosts the immune system and improves your overall health. If you’ve had enough of home fitness classes and are sick of running in the park, then it may be time to get back to the gym.
By following the COVID-19 gym safety tips above, you can enjoy a safe and effective gym experience regardless of the pandemic.