The Covid-19 lockdown has forced most of us to remain indoors. It means less movement, and most people are by and large living a sedentary life, venturing outdoors only when necessary. With work from home routine becoming the new normal, basic activities like walking or cycling to work have drastically reduced. In such times, it is even more essential to keep ourselves active. Most people do not have a private gym at home and have to rely on public gyms.
However, how safe is it to go back to gyms right now?
The coronavirus spread through close contact and surface contamination. If both parties take the necessary precautions, then you can safely work out at the gym. Here is what you can do.
Make It a Point To Wear a Mask
Yes, working out is strenuous and you might feel uncomfortable donning one when you are panting from a workout routine. But do not be tempted to remove the mask. Wear light masks made from breathable material. If you must remove it, step out from the gym and take some deep breaths when no one is around. Then put it back on.
Use Hand Sanitizers
Use portable hand sanitizers. Keep a bottle with you in your gym kit. Whenever you change equipment, sanitize your hands thoroughly. You can also keep a surface disinfectant with you and spray some on the surface of the equipment before you start using them. The buttons on a treadmill or the handlebars of a dumbbell could use them.
Check if the Gym Is Maintaining Social Distancing Protocols
The gym that you visit must maintain social distancing protocols. Too many members or guests should not be allowed inside at the same time. There should ideally be four feet distancing between every user. This is because there are greater chances of body secretions like sweat inside the gym so the distancing should be greater than regular distancing protocols.
Do Not Use Items From the Restroom
If you are in the habit of taking a shower in the gym restroom to freshen up before you leave the premises, then carry your toiletries. Try not to use items that everyone else is using, especially towels. Use disposable napkins or carry your own.
Check if the gym is maintaining hygiene protocols. Although you could sanitize the equipment surfaces before using them, the gym must follow its hygiene routine. It should sanitize all surfaces after each batch of members leaves the premises.
They should also make sure that there is natural ventilation inside the premises, as opposed to only air conditioning because there are far greater chances of infection through droplets circulating in an enclosed space.
You can start working out at the gym again if you are in perfect health and you have taken the precautions. However, those who have pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes, blood pressure or asthma, or heart or kidney illnesses, should still stay away from public places like the gym because they are at far greater risk of contracting the virus. For them, it is better to workout at home for the period and wait for the crisis to pass before they hit the gym again.