Gyms are tentatively opening all over the country, but is it safe to return to the gym? The quarantine has made many of us both anxious and eager to work that off at the gym. If you're wondering how best to maintain social distancing while getting back into shape and getting a proper workout, we have some safety tips for returning to the gym that will help.

  1. If you are sick stay home.

Plain and simple logic. Clear and obvious, and easy to follow. If you are sick or feeling ill, stay home, and limit your interaction and contact with others. Check out our No Gym Exercises Using Bodyweight to keep you in shape while you stay home.

  1. Are you at risk? Stay home.

All age groups, all different levels of health gather at a gym, as it's one of the most inclusive places to be. However, if you know for a fact you have a medical or health condition or are part of the population at high risk to COVID-19, limit your exposure to as many as you can for your health and safety. Opt for exercising outside or in your home where you can greatly control any risk of infection.

  1. If you are not sick and not at risk, ramp up hygiene and sanitation.

In a study published in 2020*, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25% of all surfaces tested in four different athletic training facilities. Especially at high-density gyms where many people are exercising and sweating in a contained space, this becomes the perfect breeding ground for disease.

Wipe down all and any gym equipment before you touch it. While you can count on gyms and fitness centers to be more vigilant in disinfecting their equipment, it is always better to ensure it is properly sanitized yourself.

If you cannot carry disposable sanitation wipes, ask the gym to provide you with some and wipe down the machine you intend to use and clean all major points of contact, like the seat, handles, footrests, anywhere skin to equipment contact may occur.

  • Always keep six feet apart.
  • If you wear a mask remember to take the workout slower than usual to ensure you can get enough oxygen.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and do not touch your face.
  • Avoid the locker room and showers if possible.

At the end of the day, you will have to ask yourself truly if it is worth going to the gym. For many of you, the answer will be affirmative. If you follow these safety tips you should be able to enjoy the gym again.

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Anna Mullins