At the time of writing this, things are loosening up around the U.S. and several businesses are beginning to reopen with special guidelines. Gyms are amongst those businesses. Many of you are eager to get back on the “gain train” while others who are just as anxious have a big concern about safety as well. If you are one who is hesitant about returning to the gym, here are 5 precautions to take that may ease your apprehension and increase your safety regarding Covid-19.
Don’t go during peak hours – This can help reduce contact with other people and help with social distancing. The more people that are in the facility, the more difficult it will be for proper social distancing to be adhered to. Saskia Popescu, a senior infection prevention epidemiologist at George Mason University, suggests that if you are seeing a big spike in coronavirus cases in your region, you may want to wait before returning to the gym.
Get in and get out – Be expedient and efficient. Limit your time inside the gym by warming up or cooling down outside, limiting your exposure. Have your music ready and preworkout routine done before you enter the building. You may even want to consider changing your clothes and showering at home if possible.
Wipe down the exercise equipment – The gym should have cleaning supplies or disinfectant wipes available to use. Wipe down the equipment before and after each use. You will want to make sure that the wipe is still wet and allow the equipment a moment to air dry to allow for maximum disinfecting capability.
Wear a mask – Most gyms are not requiring this, but it is recommended. It may be uncomfortable or make breathing slightly more difficult, but it is an added layer of protection.
Homework – Call ahead to the gym and ask what changes and protocols have been put in place to increase safety in the gym in regard to the coronavirus. Don’t be afraid to ask what cleaning products and disinfectants are being used. A lot of gyms are using the disinfectant, Rejuvnal, which is used in hospital intensive care units. Another disinfectant this is being used is QT3, which is even more powerful than Rejevnal.
Depending on who you speak with, it is about a 50/50 coin toss on whether it is safe to return to the gym or to wait it out a bit longer. The bottom line is to be careful and vigilant. Do what you need to do that matches your comfort level.