As most workout enthusiasts know quite well, when the COVID-19 global pandemic began, most gyms around the country temporarily closed their doors. Now that the vaccine is underway and numbers are starting to lower in certain areas, some gyms have begun to reopen to their grateful and appreciate members.
While you miss your cardio workouts on the elliptical and you also love your Zumba classes and using the weight machines at your local gym, you also want to be sure you are being as safe and smart as possible.
By keeping the following tips in mind, you can protect yourself as best you can while working out at your gym.
Tip 1: Say Yes to the Mask
When you get ready to head to the gym, be sure to bring along a few masks. Because your mask will probably get a tad sweaty as you exercise, KN95 face masks like those from Green Supply are a solid option to bring along with you. You can get them in a variety of colors to match your workout clothing, and when it gets damp you can toss it and put on a new one. This type of mask also fits snugly on the face and has a filtering efficiency of 95 percent, which is important when in a public place like a gym where you may encounter a number of people.
Tip 2: Skip the Gloves but Keep Your Hands Clean
As USA Today notes, medical gloves can and should be skipped during gym workouts. Instead, wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds while you are at the gym; another option is to regularly use hand sanitizer. The gym should have staff regularly cleaning the equipment and/or plenty of cleaning supplies available for members to use, but to be on the extra-safe side, bring along your own disinfecting wipes to sanitize the machines and equipment before you use it. And to be a good citizen, re-clean everything with a fresh wipe after you are done.
Tip 3: Keep Your Distance
Most gyms are being really careful about keeping people apart, but you should still take extra precautions, especially when you are exercising in a room where people are really huffing and puffing. Although the advice has usually been to stay six feet apart, at the gym you might want to up that to 12 feet. Depending on how large certain rooms are at your gym, this may mean foregoing certain exercises a bit longer; for instance, even if the Zumba teacher allows only 10 students, it may be difficult to stay 12 feet apart.
Tip 4: Avoid the High-Fives
One reason you joined your gym is because of the supportive atmosphere and friendly staff and members. While you may yearn for the days when you can work out with a partner on the weight machines and high-five one another for encouragement, Planet Fitness suggests finding other ways to give each other approval.
Stay Healthy, Stay Safe and Enjoy Your Return to the Gym
You don’t have to avoid going to your re-opened gym. If you are ready and comfortable to return, keep the four tips in mind at all times, and you should find that the experience is as safe as possible.