As more states open its doors to its businesses many people are gearing up to return to the gym. But because we are still combating COVID-19 many things are different when it comes to working out at the gym. From the removal of group classes to mask requirements many might wonder if returning to the gym is even worth it? Others can’t wait to gain some sort of normalcy after being away for a long time.
As long are proper health safety precautions are taken by both gym owners and staff and members then it is possible to workout again outside of the home.
Use these tips to returning to the gym.
Know Your Risk
This applies to both your risk profile and the potential risk of being infected.
If you are experiencing any symptoms it’s important to stay home. If you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 than it’s best to stay quarantined for 14-days.
Gym members need to also take into consideration how high their level of risk is. Those with underlining lung issues, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, or cancer should exercise outdoors or at-home to limit potential exposure.
Those who are healthy may return to the gym when doors reopen. Just know the gym’s new policies.
It’s a good idea to first contact the gym to know what these new rules are such as if masks are required and how many members are allowed at once. It’s also good to know the cleaning of equipment procedures to know how often the gym is cleaned throughout the day.
Wear A Mask When Necessary
Many instructors are wearing masks, but leaving that decision up to members as to if masks are required or not. If there is a choice, opt to wear one when necessary. This often means when entering the gym or the locker room.
However, working out with a mask is extremely difficult. And gym owners know this. It’s important to be able to breathe during exercise, so many establish allow members to pull the mask down around the chin or completely take it off.
In that case, make sure there are more than 6 feet of separation in all directions. Opt for weights instead of cardio at the gym to limit have breathing and sweat. If you need to wear and mask and have trouble breathing with it on, walk away from others and pull it down to get some fresh air and put it back on around others.
Use Your Own Equipment
Many go to the gym for a sense of community. Others go because they need the equipment provided. But many do have their own equipment such as dumbbells or kettlebells. In that case, it might be smart to bring what you can instead of sharing with the public.
This includes light weights, gym mats, water bottles, and towels.
It might not be the best idea to use a treadmill or spin bike. In that case, it’s better to get these workouts outdoors by running or cycling in a park. Use the gym as a way to get in different types of workouts that can’t be done outdoors, or save for days when the weather is poor such as rain or extreme heat.
Clean Right Away
After using each piece of equipment use the gym’s cleansers to wipe it down. While this is what is supposed to happen, you would be surprised by how many people don’t do this.
Make sure to also clean the equipment before use. You don’t know how well it was cleaned before. Plus people clean differently. Their cleanliness might not be up to par with your standards.
Also, make sure to wash clothes immediately after working out at the gym. Wash hands and avoid touching your face while there and after.
The Gym Post-COVID
Patience is key when it comes to staying COVID-free. If your gym is still closed know that the owners too want to open up, but this is out of their hands. If the gym is open, then make sure to use all precautions and follow guidelines laid out by the establishment.
For many, the gym is their place to burn off stress and many consider it a vital business for both physical and mental health. Returning to the gym can be safe if done right.