Exercising and staying fit are essential in keeping a healthy lifestyle. With the pandemic hampering almost all industries for months now, it’s been difficult for gym-goers to stay committed to their sweat routines. Gyms and fitness centers have been closed for health and safety reasons, prompting people to either work out at home or pause temporarily on their fitness goals.
But now, the government is starting to ease down on its COVID-19 restrictions. The availability of vaccines has significantly impacted this decision, and the fitness industry is among the businesses that are slowly getting back on their feet again.
Safety Tips When Visiting the Gym
While it’s exciting to think about going back to the gym, you still shouldn’t let your guard down. Remember that the virus still exists, and with that in mind, you need to practice caution and learn how to stay safe at the gym during COVID-19.
Find Out About the Gym’s Latest Safety Policies
Gone were the days when you can easily walk into your gym and do your thing whenever you want to. COVID-19 has drastically impacted the way establishments conduct business, including gyms.
Before going, give them a call and ask if an online reservation is required. They may be only accommodating limited people and slots per day. Don’t risk it by going there without calling or checking their social media accounts.
Calling ahead is also a good way to find out if the gym has changed its operating hours. You can also ask which times are usually the slowest so you can avoid being there with several people. It’s best if you’d pick a time when the building is almost empty. Other things to ask are:
- Do they require members to undergo health screenings before entering the premises?
- What are their disinfection and cleaning procedures?
- What’s the current capacity of the gym?
You may also need to ask if they will require health documents such as vaccination records and medical clearance from your physician.
Don’t Forget to Bring Your Essentials
Things are no longer the same as before when you’d go to the gym and just a gym bag containing your water bottle, a towel, and a change of clothes. Because of COVID-19, your daily essentials have also changed.
Don’t forget to bring your alcohol or sanitizer. Even when it’s already allowed to go outside without wearing a face mask, don’t risk it and still wear or bring one. Make sure your change of clothes is fresh and safely zipped inside your gym bag.
As for the gym outfits, there might not be a lot of changes. Unconventional as it may sound, some people like to wear scrubs for women when going to the gym. The durable and sanitary composition of scrubs and scrub caps for women are ideal if you want to protect your skin from harmful substances while at the gym.
Disinfect Or Sanitize Equipment Before and After Using Them
Even after finding out how the gym disinfects and sanitizes its facilities and equipment, it’s still safer to personally disinfect the equipment before using it. Use disinfectant spray or sanitizer wipes to clean the equipment. Wait for at least a minute or so before wiping it dry with tissues or a clean towel.
It’s not only the equipment that you should disinfect each time you use it. You can also apply this safety precaution before touching doorknobs, control panels, switches, and buttons.
Avoid High-Intensity Routines When Indoors
If your gym doesn’t have options for outdoor activities, try to limit your high-intensity workouts when indoors. The medical explanation behind this is that rigid exercises require more oxygen, and when you start breathing harder, COVID particles can potentially travel and linger longer around indoor air. As much as possible, do more moderate exercises, such as restorative yoga or Pilates. If you prefer high-intensity training, minimize your time in the gym and don’t linger unnecessarily to reduce the risk of exposing yourself to the virus.
Maintain Your Distance
Doing gym routines will cause people to let out viral particles and respiratory droplets. This is why you must maintain your distance from other people all the time. The ideal and safest distance is at least six feet away from the next person.
Gyms may have already moved their equipment with enough distance from one another, but it’s still better to maintain your distance or, better yet, pick a corner where you can be alone and far from others.
Consider Working Out Alone Instead of Joining Group Exercises
Working out alone is the best way to stay safe at the gym and protect yourself from possible COVID-19 transmission. If you really want to join a group exercise, choose smaller groups and make sure you maintain enough distance from others. Always wear a face mask, especially when interacting with other people from the group. It may be uncomfortable but keep in mind that it’s necessary to keep you protected from COVID-19 particles. You can use a face mask made of breathable material like cotton if you can’t stand wearing a disposable medical mask.
Always Wash Your Hands
Although using alcohol and hand sanitizers can help in disinfection, washing your hands with soap and water is still the most effective defense against viruses and bacteria. How to stay safe at the gym? After using any equipment or when going to the washroom, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.
You can also use alcohol or sanitizer in between using equipment and when you’re done for the day, wash your hands immediately before heading out. If you brought a change of clothes, you could take a shower so you won’t have to bring home any bacteria or viruses with you.
Be Fit and COVID-Free
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to go back to your healthy and active lifestyle before COVID-19 came into the picture. Knowing how to stay safe at the gym is the key to making sure that you stay fit and virus-free at the same time.
Remember to stay away from too many people or large groups. Make a checklist of what your gym bag should include so you’ll have extra layers of protection from the virus. Following all these tips should help you in having a stress-free and COVID-free stay at the gym.