A lot of businesses have been closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with gym and fitness studios been the first in line. The U.S. government is now easing the stay at home mandates they had put in place to mitigate the spread of the virus. Gyms are now among the first to open, but are they safe? As the virus continues to infect thousands of people every day, the White House has released guidelines that should be followed if gym owners want to resume their businesses. Many people are skeptical about how safe it is to return to the gym. While this remains a hot topic, this article will give you facts on if it is safe to go back to the gym.
What Gyms Will Look Like After Reopening
Almost all gyms are preparing to reopen months after their closure. The owners must come up with a plan and a layout that will ensure the safety of both gym staff and visitors. No particular date has been set for the reopening, but different gyms will open differently after meeting all the guidelines. All gyms are expected to offer more disinfectant products to clients and limit the number of clients allowed in classes and at the gym overall. They should put up markers throughout the gym to reinforce social distancing rules.
The weight machines should be farther apart and the machines should be sanitized regularly. The gym staff should pass through a temperature check before reporting for work. Also, they should have their face masks on throughout the day. By gyms taking all the precautions needed they will make the gym members feel good, confident, and safe when they go back again. While the IHRSA has allowed gyms to reopen, each one must do so when they’re ready and have established a safe space.
What to Do to Stay Safe at The Gym
You must feel comfortable enough to be able to go back to the gym. If you’re not feeling confident in its cleanliness, you should enquire what steps they’re taking to curb the spread of the virus. Otherwise, don’t risk contracting a virus just because you want to train. Also, you should maintain your own cleanliness like wiping down any equipment before and after use. Plus, continue with the same precautions you take of washing your hands as often as possible and avoid touching your face.
Gyms are going the extra mile to provide a clean and safe environment, but everyone has a role to play during this pandemic. When we sweat and wipe our face and then touch the handle, you’re exposing yourself to germs and viruses. Therefore, sanitize the equipment before use even though the person who used it before you look totally fine. Remember, we have virtual classes and aren’t going away any day soon, so if you don’t feel safe going to a gym physically, you might want to stick to those at home. The CDC advises that you should avoid using certain equipment, especially those that are difficult to clean after each use like weightlifting belts and resistance bands. When it comes to spacing out while in the gym, it’s not exactly known how far droplets containing the virus can spread due to heavy breathing or
How COVID-19 Has Changed the Gyms?
Just as many retail stores aren’t the same amid the pandemic, neither are the fitness gyms. All gyms are experiencing reduced capacity, including cutting the client base to 50 percent. Gyms across the U.S. are implementing new and stricter rules in order to make their members feel safe. Additionally, most gyms are now accepting clients on bookings. You have to book an appointment or reserve classes online beforehand to avoid going overcapacity.
The WHO has said that asymptomatic spread is still a concern during the live session at the gym. This means an infected person may be able to spread the virus to others without them knowing. Any asymptomatic person can’t be identified upon entering the gym. The use of gloves while in the gym isn’t encouraged either because it’s easier to wash your hands after touching the equipment and surfaces rather than touching around the gym with dirty gloves. If you feel unsafe and the facility or other members aren’t following the proper procedure, consider changing the gym or working out at home. Also, you should speak out if you feel someone is crossing the line of safety, whether they’re wearing a mask or not. This way you keep yourself and the other person safe.
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