Tips for Returning to the Gym During COVID-19

By Chloe Olvera

With gyms now opening up in California, what can you do to minimize your risk of COVID-19 exposure during a workout?

Check what your gym is doing and prepare before.

Go to your gym’s website or call ahead to see what cleaning procedures and safety protocols they have in place. Opt for online reservations and contactless check-ins if possible. Check to see how capacity is limited in the gym or for classes. If you’re a senior, check to see if there are dedicated senior-only hours.

Don’t use a shared locker space, either keep your belongings in the car or at home, or pay for a private locker. Also, save your shower for home. If available, utilize your gym’s outdoor spaces or virtual classes.

Physical distancing

Staying more than 6 feet apart from others is ideal. Respiratory droplets might spread further from gym-goers’ heavy breathing.

Keep your hands clean

Wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol before and after using the equipment. Don’t high five or have close contact with your fellow gym buddies. Also, don’t touch your face, nose, mouth, and eyes.

Sanitize all equipment and machines

Wipe down all equipment and machines with disinfectant wipes before and after each use. Make sure to wait at least one minute for them to dry. Check beforehand to see what your gym has available for cleaning.

Wear a mask when possible

During low-intensity exercises, try to wear a mask to protect yourself and others. During more intense exercises, if wearing a mask is too physically uncomfortable, then it is even more important to physically distance yourself from others or opt to exercise outside.

Lastly, if you’re feeling sick, don’t go to the gym just yet. Get in contact with your doctor before putting yourself or others at risk for COVID-19. If you don’t feel comfortable or are at high risk for serious illness, then try an alternative outdoor workout or at-home virtual workout instead.

Be safe and stay active!

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