Is it Safe to Go Back to the Gym?

Is it Safe to Go Back to the Gym?

Is it Safe to Go Back to the Gym?

COVID-19 has not only forced us to change our lifestyles, but it also had a massive impact on our physical and mental well-being. According to American Psychological Association report, 61% of adults in the US have reported weight gain, and 48% informed an increase in stress during the pandemic. With these available stats, it's time to return back to normal and build healthy habits to fight these issues.

You might be thinking of starting a fitness regime that can help you achieve a lean body, but a daunting question still lingers in the air, “is it safe to go back to the gym?”

There is no denying that the number of vaccinated people has increased and the COVID rate has come down, a CDC report still deemed it risky to exercise in an enclosed space. A gym is a closed area where people have to share space and use the equipment already used and touched by others. In the absence of proper ventilation, gym activities increase the risk of the virus multiplying in the group of people sharing an enclosed space. Even if gym-goers perform activities with their mask on, the risk gets twofold because once wet with sweat, masks become ineffective.

If you were on the verge of making a decision to join your local gym but now you are dubious if this would be the right decision or not, then read on to know what can be done to ensure your health and fitness.

Questions That You Need to Ask the Gym Owners

It is important that you know what efforts gym owners have made to minimize the spread of the virus for the safety of their gym members. The questions that you must ask include:

Are they disinfecting the place regularly?

Sanitizing of hands and cleaning of fitness equipment before and after use come under the hygiene protocols for the gym patrons. However, gym owners must have to take it on themselves to go beyond the regular hygiene practices to control the spread of the virus.

Ask the manager or owner that how often they are disinfecting the gym equipment and if the antibacterial wipes and sanitizers are available for the patrons or not? Most important, know that the virus can transfer in an infected place through the air you breathe rather than the sweat. Therefore, inquire if they are disinfecting the air within the gym premises or not?

What kind of training local gym is focusing on?

Though it is possible that COVID can pass from one to another in indoor gym activities, but the risk is specifically higher in high-intensity training.

When you perform cardio or any other high-intensity workout, the amount of air you breathe in and out of your lungs increases. Again, maintaining 6 feet distance was recommended because breath can become a source of the passing of the virus. That’s why performing low-intensity workouts such as yoga, Pilates, or stretching are much safer. Visit your local gym and get to know what classes they are holding and whether there is any outdoor facility for high-intensity workouts or not.

Are they implementing standard ventilation practices? 

Post-COVID, new ventilation guidelines have been drafted for fitness studios and gyms to combat the risk. These ventilation practices include:

  • Holding gym activities in a spacious hall or room with high ceilings
  • Opening door and windows on both sides of the room for cross-ventilation
  • Disinfecting air whenever possible
  • Utilizing fans that draw air out of the room

When you visit a gym, give a good look around to know if the fans keep the air recirculating within the room or blow it out. Ventilation fans that keep the air trapped within the closed space raise the risk of illness and the spreading of the virus.

Are they enforcing social distancing?

Maintaining social distance is still advised by the CDC in fitness gyms and other public settings. An article in New York Times also highlighted that some doctors even suggest maintaining 10 feet of distance between exercising people.

Many public places and gyms have stopped following the protocols by dropping the social distance and mask requirement. Still, others are using Plexiglas sheets between equipment and areas in the gym to curb the virus from transferring. Contact or visit the gym you want to join to learn what social distancing protocols are in place.

Do they have a mandatory vaccination policy?

Vaccination has somewhat reduced the fear of walking out without a mask because then you know everyone around is vaccinated. Vaccination policy may differ from gym to gym. Some may ask the gym members to provide proof of their immunization via vaccination card and submit it beforehand. While others may make it mandatory for non-vaccinated gym members to wear a mask while working out and allow the immunized members to work out without a mask. Ask it before joining if your gym is enforcing the vaccination policy or not.    

How to Stay Safe at the Gym?

If you have made your mind to give it a chance, then having knowledge on all the above questions can help you work out in a safe environment. There are s things that you need to make sure at your end to minimize the risk of contact with COVID.

Vaccination is a must, so do it now. Keep your mask always with you because vaccination does not completely eliminate the chance of you coming in contact with the virus. Be sure to keep a sanitizer in your gym kit bag. It gives you the freedom that you have your own sanitizer handy even when a gym is not offering it. Keep your distance and lastly, keep yourself always hydrated. If you take care of these basic things, you will be fine to pursue your fitness goals.

Have you Considered Home-Gym?

Home-gym rescued many people from drowning in a sea of fats during the lockout period. A home is always a safe option to start a fitness routine, and there are plenty of home-gym fitness equipment that can be easily purchased by you. Xn8 Sports is an online fitness and combat equipment store from where you can buy all your favorite fitness accessories including dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, yoga mats, yoga props, support braces, and much more. You can put your anxiety of going back to the gym at rest by building your own fitness room at home. With uncertainties looming due to the COVID, it is a better option to work out within the comfort of your home.

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