How will returning back to the gym stay safe for all?
How do you feel about returning to the gym, as the restrictions across Australia start to lift and gyms can begin to open their doors? OK, there will be a few strict rules around numbers allowed in the gym space, and cleaning of all surfaces, but do you feel it will be enough?
By nature, gyms are germy places. From gym goers in close proximity sweating and breathing heavily, to the handling of equipment and equipment like weights quite difficult to clean thoroughly due to all the nooks and crannies. There will definitely need to be an acceptance that some risk lies with returning to the gym. However for some, this risk should be weighed up against the huge physical, mental and social benefits in retruning back to gym-based exercise.
This New York Times article from this week is a great positive read on how to make your return to the gym as risk free as possible. It encourages you to get back to enjoy your favourite workouts again. To borrow from the author, at the gym, live by the mantra:
Wash. Spray. Wait. Wipe. Repeat
- plan to sanitise yourself and the equipment very frequently.
- make sure your gym offers contactless gym sign in procedures.
- use your own wattle bottle and avoid the drinking fountains.
- give the sanitiser and other sprays at least a minute to kill the bacteria on the equipment. Wait this time before wiping.
- clean the equipment BEFORE you use it to negate any poor or rushed cleaning from the last person.
- exercise with 2 towels each time, saving one to mop your face and body sweat and the other to lay on the benches and mats for your workouts.
- ask your gym to increase it's flow through ventilation system to refresh the air. This can be through fancy air conditioners, or simply to have a cross flow of ventilation with windows open to keep air and its particles moving from inside to outside the gym.
- exercising with masks may have limited benefits although should depend on the type of mask. Due to sweat and moisture, may masks would be quickly reduce their antibacterial defence barrier.
Perhaps you can't wait to rejoin your gym, or perhaps you would prefer to give it a miss at this moment - this will really come down to personal feelings and values. If you are looking forward to the group fitness classes and weight sessions that home has not being able to bring during this pandemic, making educated decision will mitigate the risks and allow you to safely jump back on in.