Raise your hand if exercising from home is not your jam? I thought so. As a fitness coach, my clients have struggled to maintain their motivation and gains during the last few months of quarantine. What motivated them initially during lockdown no longer suffices. They want to go back to the gym. But is it safe? What do you need to know before you go? What are the risks and is it worth it? Here are some tips, ideas, and advice on going back to the gym during the pandemic.

States Rules

Every state handles the pandemic differently due to the spread of the Coronavirus and the number of confirmed cases in their area. The rules for Texas are not the same as Wyoming! Before you head out the door with gym bag in hand check your local health guidelines for gyms here.

It is important to remember these two things too. Many states require masks in public indoor places. Make sure your gym bag has a face-covering tucked inside it. And wash it once you get back home. There are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to the Coronavirus. We do know that air flow is a factor and being outdoors slows the spread, especially with your mask on. Now is the time to embrace the fall weather and take that outdoor boot camp or full-body burn class in your gym’s parking lot and outdoor space.

Your gym should be assessing individuals for symptoms like fever, cough, and contact with COVID-19 positive individuals upon entry. Find out if they are doing this daily, what their cleaning procedures are, as well as if wipes, tissues, and sanitizer are on hand at the facility.

Ways to Keep Safe at the Gym

Your gym is open. You want more than using your body weight to burn calories or using milk jugs as weights with those bicep curls. How do you keep safe when visiting your gym? Our tips are here to arm you with enough information to help you make that decision.

  1. Limit your contact with others. Keep at least six feet apart while at the gym inside or in the outside space. Remember to wear that mask inside or outside too.
  2. Wash your hands regularly. 
  3. Wipe down any equipment you use before you use it and afterward. This is good gym etiquette any time not only during a pandemic.
  4. Check the hours of operation. Some gyms are still not open or their hours have changed. Other gyms have hours for immunocompromised or elderly clients or shortened hours. You may need to reserve a spot ahead of time as well.
  5. Bring your own water and towel. Hand sanitizer and wipes might be a good addition to your gym tote.
  6. Skip that post-workout shower. Only use the bathroom if it is an emergency. 

Risk Factors

Like any other public space, the gym is a hard one to keep safe and clean. Limited capacity and good hygiene practices must be practice at your fitness center. Even with all these precautions put in place by your gym, yoga studio, or wellness place and the ones you put into action yourself there is still a risk. You can still be exposed to asymptomatic people or be one yourself without your knowledge. In the end, you must do what you feel is right for you and your family.