Chances are that some of your coworkers and friends are starting to get back into their routines at the gym, and maybe you’re wondering if you should join them! Quarantine most likely has been a long road with more calorie intake and less movement, and maybe those skinny jeans you love to wear on Friday nights…just don’t quite fit the same. But don’t worry! Gyms are beginning to reopen across the nation with new health and safety precautions so you can hit the gym and rest easy knowing that you’re staying safe. Here are three tips how to make progress at the gym and still keep you and your family safe:
PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING
If you’re an experienced gym-goer, you most likely have experienced uncomfortable moments where that one guy who hasn’t bought deodorant in years is just too close. In most gyms, space is limited at peak hours after work and you may find yourself squeezing into a spot on the mats to complete your stretching. Now times have changed and social distancing is a new norm that all gyms have to adapt to if they want to remain open. Social distancing includes the spacing out of cardio equipment and machines and also asking members to remain at a six feet distance apart from one another throughout their workouts. Some gyms also have a maximum capacity in place, and will only let a certain number of people into the gym at a time. More careful entities will only allow for you to come into the gym with a made-ahead appointment where only a select number of people are able to use equipment throughout your specific time slot. Make sure to call your gym ahead of time to ask them what their protocol is so you are prepared and can make the most of your time working out and making those gains!
WASH YOUR HANDS
I’m sure we’ve all heard this more times than we can count, but its importance has yet to diminish. Washing your hands is a sure fire way to keep yourself safe when you’re in an environment that could be contaminated with germs. Make sure to wash your hands when you get to the gym to help protect other people but also wash your hands before you leave! Avoid touching your face in between hand washes and use hand sanitizer as much as you can. If you’re using gym equipment that is highly used and likely to not get the same attention from cleaning staff, ie: dumbbells and kettlebells, then take initiative to wipe them down before and after you use them. You could even be really responsible and keep Clorox wipes in your car so that once you leave the gym, you can wipe down your handle and steering wheel to be extra cautious. A particularly important note here is to make sure that whatever you are wiping down is dry before you use it in order to allow for the chemicals to properly reduce the amount of germs crawling at the surface. In essence, you can never be too careful with extra hand washing and wiping everything down before and after you use it. Also, don’t forget to bring your hand sanitizer!
WEAR YOUR MASK
Unless you haven’t left your house this entire quarantine then you’ve most likely been using PPE, or personal protective equipment. Unfortunately, many people may not use their PPE correctly and that is taking away from your safety! Face masks are the most important and the most common form of PPE used from hospital settings to just being out and about. These pieces of cloth are not only extremely important in protecting yourself and others but are also required throughout many states in the U.S.- if you’re caught without one in some states you can get a fine of up to $1000!! These pesky pieces of cloth work to prevent the spread of your germs to other people, and although they’re uncomfortable, it’s a price worth paying for you and your family’s health.
Overall, there are a lot of tips to continue practicing hand hygiene, social distancing and wearing the proper PPE to help keep you and your family safe during these troubling times. As long as you’re diligent about your hygiene and follow your gym’s rules, you will have a much easier time staying safe and making gains at the gym. Of course, if you or a loved one have an underlying health issue that could cause serious problems if you become contracted with COVID, then take these tips very seriously or reconsider other options for staying active.