Even though we’re still in the midst of a pandemic, gyms are reopening across the country. Here’s what you should know in order to stay as safe as possible.
As the U.S. slowly tries to find a new normal, states are reopening non-essential businesses, including gyms and restaurants. While distancing measures have been implemented to keep people safeguarded against COVID-19, this is a trial period and no one knows how this phase will turn out. Still, life must go on.
One of the dirtiest environments are gyms, which were one of the first businesses to close some months ago when the coronavirus struck the country. Gyms are notorious for their germs and general lack of sanitation. Add to that an open workout environment with a lot of sweaty people and you have a recipe for virus exposure.
It doesn’t help that gym equipment, such as dumbbells, yoga mats and machines, are almost constantly in contact with different people who are potentially contaminating them in some way at all times.
Simply put, even if you’re rigorous with cleaning and social distancing, there’s always some degree of risk when inside a gym. Here’s what you can do to try and keep yourself safe:
Be diligent with your cleaning
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If you’re planning on rejoining your gym, be sure to have your tools on you, whether that means masks, cleaning wipes, disinfectant or hand sanitizer. The security measures are dependent on the gym itself, but don’t trust employees or gym goers to wipe down each item after they’re done with it. It helps if you bring your own yoga mat for your floor exercises, and try to limit touching equipment you absolute don’t need to use. Before and after using each machine and dumbbell, be sure to sanitize it. Also remember to wash your hands before and after you leave the building. And possibly inbetween sets.
Keep your distance from others
Another thing that can help you stay safe is to keep your distance from other people in the gym. Try to visit during off hours and wait for others to be done with the machines instead of hovering over them. Remember that sweaty and tired people tend to breathe harder, ejecting droplets that can travel further distances.
Find the right gym
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The best thing you can do for your safety is trust your gym. While you can’t be sure that employees are doing their job in cleaning every surface regularly, you should feel like your gym is being diligent with their cleaning and distancing measures. Before you rejoin your gym, account for the building’s structure, ventilation and the coronavirus safety measures they’ve implemented. If staff is not regularly filling spray bottles of disinfectant and restocking paper towels to wipe down equipment, consider this a red flag.