Now that a few months have passed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, most people wonder whether it is already safe to go back to gyms. When the pandemic started, public health officials suggested closing down gyms as well as other public establishments for the safety of the people. Local governments put these restrictions in place because a gym setting where people are heavily panting and breathing in an enclosed, air-conditioned environment seemed like a high-risk venue.
Your safety will highly depend on the risk tolerance, area, and precautions that the facility is taking. A report by The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) and MXM shows that fitness facilities are safe to go to, and the spread of COVID-19 is unlikely to happen. Although it might seem like the coast is clear, a gym-goer’s safety is still unpredictable, and it won’t hurt to take even minor precautions. That is why it is essential to prepare yourself to return thoroughly. Here are some ways you can safely return to the gym.
Evaluate the level of risk
Some gyms in your area may already be open. Thus, it is your responsibility to check the risks that come with going to your local gym. The topmost individuals who are at risk of getting infected with COVID-19 are people with preexisting medical conditions. If you are a person that fits this category, it is best to avoid going to the gym and finding alternatives like working out at home. Anyways, many trainers and gyms are taking their services online so that you can safely perform fitness programs at home.
However, suppose you’re not one of the high-risk individuals. In that case, you can also make inquiries about the protocols and policies that your local gym is doing to mitigate the risks of COVID-19. In most gyms, they limit the total capacity, mandate wearing face masks, and participating in social distancing. Some facilities also put into effect online application or reservation procedures as well as temperature checks and contact tracing methods. The facility’s cleaning and disinfecting protocols are vital to consider as well.
Keep in mind that some cleaning products are not that effective in preventing COVID-19. Besides that, knowing how the gym handles its employees is crucial since the staff is in charge of keeping the gym safe. Employers should provide the appropriate benefits for employees to ensure that you won’t be putting the employees at risk when you decide to go to the gym.
Follow the necessary safety measures
The most important thing to do when going out in public during the COVID-19 pandemic is to wear a face mask. You are also required to wear your face mask and practice social distancing when you’re inside the gym. Also, instead of your standard face masks, breathable cloth masks are recommended to protect yourself from the transmission of respiratory droplets.
Keep a distance of six feet from the other people in the area and avoid touching your face when in the facility, especially after handling weights or touching other gym equipment. Furthermore, always have disinfectant wipes or hand sanitizers with you throughout the day. Make sure to wash your hands with warm water and soap for about 20 seconds to remove the bacteria accumulated in your hand effectively.
It is also best to find gyms that offer outdoor sessions since staying in an air-conditioned building with limited ventilation can be risky. Picking small gyms with smaller class sizes is another great option so that you can entirely avoid bumping into more people when working out.
Avoid jumping straight back into your usual exercise
In some cases, you might have neglected your usual exercise routines since the start of the pandemic. Immediately jumping back into your regular routine might not work for you anymore and may even lead to the possibility of accidents. It is important to gradually build yourself back up to your usual level of working out. Start using lighter weights first and level up when you’re ready. Make the proper adjustments in your routine to make the most out of your exercise sessions.
To conclude, going to the gym has multiple health and mental benefits, making it an essential habit for many people. Taking care of your health and immune system through exercise is necessary, especially during these troubled times. Moreover, working out can improve your overall mood and help you sleep better at night. With all this in mind, It is crucial to realize the importance of finding effective ways to exercise safely to enjoy the benefits with reduced risks.