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Are Gyms Safe Amid Coronavirus Outbreak?

If there’s a case of coronavirus within your area, it might be best to avoid the gym and other communal locations.

Workouts are vital in the midst of stressful times, providing relief and endorphins when you need them most. They also pose a conundrum for gym goers aware that these buildings are cesspools of germs and bacteria. Despite the stress prompted by the coronavirus, gyms have always been places with lots of bacteria, which can be found in locker rooms, treadmills and weights.

The main issue with gyms is that people who go there to workout tend to touch and interact with different objects without cleaning up. Still, gyms are no less safe than other communal areas; the fact that it’s a space filled with sweaty people doesn’t mean that this kind of virus will be easier to spread.

Most gyms have adopted more thorough cleaning policies since the coronavirus appeared in the U.S, reassuring their customers and workers. Despite these upgrades, The New York Times claims that it’s important to keep an eye out for notifications from your gym and community. If there’s a case of coronavirus within your area, it might be best to avoid the gym and other communal locations.

Here are a few things you can do in order to stay as safe as possible when working at the gym.

Clean up before and after your workout

Before interacting with any weight or machine, wipe down all surfaces you touch with your hands and arms, most importantly the handlebars, screen and buttons. Whatever cleaning item you use should have over 70% of alcohol in order to kill germs. While most gyms should have these kinds of items readily available, you can bring your own wipes from home, throwing them away after each use.

Avoid touching other people

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When going to the gym and running into a friend, it’s important for everyone to limit direct contact and to avoid handshakes and hugs. If you do touch someone, make sure to avoid touching your face, particularly your nose, mouth and eyes until you can wash them again.

Don’t lounge around in your sweaty clothes

As soon as you’re done with your workout, it’s important to take off your sweaty clothes. When left unattended, these can quickly transform into perfect breeding grounds for bacteria, especially when warm and wet.

Wash your water bottle regularly

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While drinking from the water fountain isn’t the smartest choice when it comes to avoiding germs, water bottles need to be cleaned often and thoroughly. According to Shape magazine, a sip mid workout can make the bacteria from the bottom of the bottle transfer to the rim, which can quickly proliferate every time you interact with it.

Stay home if you’re sick

As is the case with most of these situations, it’s important to stay home when you feel sick. Staying isolated is the best form of preventing the spread of the virus and protecting those who are at most risk.

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