After much deliberation and debate, several gyms across the nation have finally received the green signal to restart operations. Now, this might come as a happy piece of news to some, and be greeted by heavy reluctance on the part of others, both of which are entirely understandable. But in any case, if you do decide to pay your gym a visit during this pandemic, we're sure you'd want to be as safe as possible.
It goes without saying, that both independent gyms and bigger chains will go the whole nine yards, to ensure their customers stay safe and healthy. From thermal screening to oximeters, there are a number of precautions gym owners are putting in place. But as the threat of the virus continues to loom in the air, relying on others to ensure your safety isn't the best bet. Instead, it needs to be a two-way exercise, with you taking equal, if not more, preventive measures to protect yourself.
But before you try and Google search your way through this ordeal, take a look down below once. For we have rounded-up 10 important precautionary steps you should bear in mind while working out in the gym during COVID-19, all in one place!
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1. First off, if you're expecting your gym experience to be exactly how it was before this pandemic started, please reset your expectations. You need to wear a mask throughout, from the time you leave your house, to the point you reach back. You need to have your own bottle of sanitiser on you at all times. Avoid using the shower at the gym, and just tolerate the sweat till you can use your own bathroom. Carry your own water bottle and towel, which you must not share with anybody whatsoever, and practice social distancing to the maximum possible extent.
2. Make sure any and every equipment you plan to use, is sanitised right before you touch it. Certainly, it's the gym prerogative to make sure that happens, but if you haven't witnessed someone actually wiping down the equipment after the last person got off, don't hesitate to ask, and get it sanitised to your heart's content. And while we are on this topic, avoid using any gym equipment that doesn't have ample space around it.
3. If you're headed for a fitness or yoga class, avoid those conducted in close quarters. Ideally, you should attend these classes in an open-air environment, but in case you HAVE to work out inside a room, social distancing is the rule you must follow and insist others do as well.
4. Carry a pair of gloves. You don't necessarily need to wear them when you're exercising, but having gloves on when you touch other high-contact surfaces like doorknobs, or fingerprint detectors is highly, HIGHLY recommended.
5. Wash your hands. When you've entered the gym, after you've used a piece of equipment, before you exit the gym doors. Wash your hands, whenever you can.
6. Do NOT touch your face. With sweat dripping down your face, it might be highly tempting to fall back on old habits, and just wipe it off with your hands. Please don't do that. You already know why.
7. We'd suggest you cover up as much as you can. We're talking full-length gym gear, like joggers and full-sleeve t-shirts. Think of it as a win-win situation, the more you cover-up, the more you sweat and the more you burn. Also, there's a pandemic going on guys, maybe save the tanks for when it's over?
8. Try using a protective visor as much as you can while exercising.
9. Do bear in mind, that central air conditioning increases the risk of transmission. If there's an open area in your gym you can access, opt for it.
10. If your gym seems crowded to an unsafe extent, don't hesitate to have a word with authorities. According to guidelines, gyms should allow a limited number of members to enter during any given slot. If that isn't happening in your gym, escalate the issue and head back out. Better safe than sorry, especially when a highly-transmittable virus is on the loose. Also remember, the standards for what "crowded" is, have changed!
Lastly, trust your instincts. If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Stay safe gym freaks!