COVID stay-at-home restrictions have been lifted in many states and for some, that means back to the gym. Good hygiene has always been a must at fitness centers, but it’s never been more important than right now. What are the best steps to stay COVID-free while getting fit?
On the treadmill, the weight bench, or in a class. This is one place that a lot of people have missed.
But what should you watch for when you take your workout from the street to the gym?
For starters, make sure you give yourself plenty of space and machines have been moved apart.
“I would argue even more than six feet, maybe ten feet or so, because the big the problem is, when you’re breathing hard and panting and at the gym, you’re actually spreading more of the virus than if you’re sitting and not exerting yourself,” explained Dr. Purvi Parikh, an immunologist at the Allergy and Asthma Network.
With that in mind, Parikh said masks are a must. If you don’t like covering your mouth and nose during cardiovascular exercise, ask if your gym can move some fitness classes outdoors. Make sure machines have disinfectant nearby or bring your own wipes. Finally, avoid the locker room and shower at home.
“Many health care workers, including myself, do this,” Parikh said. “That when we go either to the office or hospital, as soon as we come home, we leave the shoes outside and whatever is on our body immediately goes into the wash.”
In a study published earlier this year, researchers found flu virus, drug-resistant bacteria, like MSRA and other germs on 25% of the surfaces they tested in high school and college training facilities -- and that was before COVID-19, so experts say, again, it’s really important these days to pay attention to your surroundings in the gym.