With many gyms re-opening after being closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, the question on how to work out safely is being raised.
Gyms are already given guidelines on to function by the government health department. The capacity of gyms must be limited to 25%, showers and locker rooms must be closed, patrons must wear gloves that cover their whole hands and fingers, exercise equipment must be disinfected after each use, and facilities must adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Gyms are extremely tough as there are lots of machines which are difficult to clean and there is a chance of the absence of good ventilation systems. Considering the residents are keen to get back their normal workout routine, it’s important to know how to work out without risking anyone’s health.
Below are some precautions you can take to minimize your risk of contracting the virus while at the gym.
- Wear a mask responsibly
A mask would help protect your droplets from getting on other people, and vice versa. But they are extremely uncomfortable while working out. It will be better to evaluate your own risk/benefit ratio or to seek professional advice before choosing a mask.
- Social distancing is the key
Physical distancing is extremely important, be it in gyms or any public places. But people will be breathing heavily and may propel droplets further, so it will be safe to keep a distance of more than the recommended 6 feet inside your gyms.
- Do not reuse towels
Carry several clean towels for separate uses. Use one designated towel to wipe your sweaty face so you’re not touching your face all the time. You may also cover benches/seats with another one. Make sure to change these towels frequently.
- Frequent and careful sanitizing
Make sure to sanitize any equipment you touch before and after use including weights, machines, bikes, etc. You will be doing this every day so take into heart this will be in your daily routine and don’t rush the cleaning process. Make sure you wait one minute after applying disinfectant before wiping down. Make sure to bring your own bottle of disinfectant to clean dumbbells, benches, etc.
- Handle gloves carefully
If you are using gloves while working out be sure to handle them with care as any germs on your gloves can be transferred to other surfaces. So it is important to take off gloves properly to prevent cross-contamination. If your gloves are not disposable, you may want to consider bringing a bag or container that closes entirely to hold the gloves once you’ve removed them. Simply placing them in your gym bag with your other belongings would contaminate all other items. Wash the gloves on a hot-water cycle once you get home.
Make sure you wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after removing the gloves, and be mindful of everything you touch while wearing them. For example, if you touch your towel while wearing gloves, the part of the towel you touched should not then touch your face. It’s more important to wash and sanitize your hands frequently.