As gyms start to re-open across the country after the quarantine period, people are itching to get back to their old exercise routines. However, before you rush back to the treadmill, it’s important to remember to take safety precautions to avoid getting and spreading Covid-19 while you exercise. Instead, grab your comfortable sneakers and hit the gym with these five essential tips to keep you safe.
Tip #1: Sanitize Equipment Before & After Use
Most gyms will have altered their cleaning routines to cleanse equipment after every use, but you should also take a minute before and after your workout to wipe things down. Your gym should provide cleansing wipes with at least a 70% alcohol content to disinfect equipment properly. If you’re unsure, bring your own sanitizing wipes to do the job thoroughly. This should include cleaning treadmills, dumbbells, bikes, yoga mats, and other equipment.
Tip #2: Remember the 6-Foot Rule
Guidelines for social distancing should be marked in your gym, whether by blocking off every other cardio machine or marking areas on the floor. However, if they are not, make good decisions as to where you are going to exercise by staying at least 6 feet away from your neighbors. If they are breathing heavily or not wearing a mask, keep a distance of 12 feet.
Tip #3: Avoid Group Classes if Possible
Group classes are risky when it comes to spreading germs because they involve multiple people in a small room with sweating and moist air that can carry virus particles. Particularly classes with high intensity exercises should be avoided. Stud
Tip #4: Limit the Time Spent at the Gym
Where possible, limit the amount of time spent inside at the gym. If you can, put on your gym clothes and women’s or men’s sneakers before going and wait until you get home to shower and change. Stretch outside or at home before and after your class.
Tip #5: BYO
Bring everything you need, from your own water bottle to a sweat towel. It is likely that your gym will have turned off their drinking fountains and may not have towels to distribute, either. Coming prepared will keep you from having to touch surfaces others may have come in contact with.
With all of the above, remember to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching surfaces that haven’t been fully sanitized. If you feel out of breath or faint at any point while wearing a mask, stop to rest and breathe deeply. If you go to the gym and decide that you feel uncomfortable in any way, there are plenty of safe at-home and outdoor workouts that you can do to stay in shape until the pandemic has passed.