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Is it Safe to Go Back to the Gym? Here's How to Protect Yourself Against COVID-19 in the Gym

Experts state that if cases of the novel coronavirus are poorly controlled in your area, it is best to stay home and not go to establishments like gyms.

Karen Cruz
Karen Cruz

I know how much you miss going to your local gym after months of working out with bodyweight exercises. And as some establishments (*coughs* like gyms *coughs*) and public areas slowly going back to operation, you might also be itching to work out and get in some serious strength training with complete and proper equipment. But is it safe to return to the gym? Experts state that if cases of the novel coronavirus are poorly controlled in your area, it is best to stay home and not go to establishments like gyms. But if the spread of the virus is being contained where you live, you can go ahead and visit your local gym. Just make sure to keep these things in mind and follow the tips to stay safe and protect yourself against COVID-19 inside the gym:

Note that not all states are letting gyms to reopen.

It is recommended to check your state government website or Facebook page first if your local gym is allowed to operate again because some states are still not allowing gyms to reopen. You might want to ask your trainer if they offer closed sessions one-on-one.

If your local gym is operating, expect that you have to wait to get in.

For sure most gyms are going to operate half capacity to follow guidelines in ensuring their liability and your safety.

Never ever forget to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Regardless of the type of mask you own, surgical, or cloth, it should be worn at the gym whenever possible. Health experts also advise you to always bring a backup mask with you in case the one you are wearing gets wet with sweat. One more thing, continue to practice physical distancing by staying at least six feet from other people (which you probably have memorized by now).

Wipe down machines before and after you use them.

Before using the free weights, treadmill, row, and anything else, wipe them first with gym wipes or disinfectant spray with a paper towel to avoid catching bacteria, germs, and viruses. Do the same thing after using the equipment for the next user.

Expect that showers, pools, basketball courts, and other facilities will only allow 30% capacity.

Before going to the gym, check their rules and guidelines first to know which facilities are not open or how many people they allow to use them.

Bring your own supplies.

From hand sanitizers, water bottles, to towels and yoga mats, it is highly recommended to bring your own supplies to the gym to ensure you are not using something that is probably contaminated.

Avoid using or bringing gloves.

Misused gloves can lead to cross-contamination so avoid using them at the gym. But if you really want or need to wear gloves, be sure to clean them by applying sanitizer after each use and wash your hands properly.

Do not attend a class with many people.

It is important to monitor class sizes during this pandemic because the more member you have in your class, the more chance of spreading and catching the virus. Go with groups of 10 or less and practice physical distancing. It is best to ask the gym about the rules and guidelines they have for classes.

Your stay in the gym may be limited to only 60 minutes.

Some gyms who were allowed to reopen need to comply with the government's order to limit the workouts of their patrons to 60 minutes to lessen the exposure to the virus.

The new normal includes doing gym classes outside.

Expect gym classes to be held outside the establishment such as the patio or anywhere else to keep members really away from each other. Keeping six feet distance from another dancer seems not enough that is why it is better to do it this way.

You are lucky if your local gym started to operate again. It means you can have serious strength workouts now, as long as you are taking the above precautions. The virus is still around, we should still be extra careful especially when we are going to a public place or an establishment with more than 10 people.

Find more helpful advice on how to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic by checking out Cleaning Corona.