Many people who have been abiding by province wide “stay-at-home” orders during the COVID-19 pandemic have had to forgo their typical workout routine. Many have tried the virtual workouts many studios have offered on Instagram or other platforms. If you haven’t had access to a home gym however, you’ve probably been missing the gym and are itching to get back to your gym community.
With the province opening back up at the beginning of July, gyms and fitness centers are now scrambling to get ready to welcome back their members. Requesting members to bring their own hand sanitizer stock and face mask to carry along to help their members stay safe from viruses.
Before you go, you have to ask yourself, is it worth the risk? While gyms are reworking their floor plans to increase the distance between machines along with sanitizing more often and requiring that employees wear masks and gloves, it still may be risky. But for many, the physical and mental wellness that going for a workout offers, it’s worth the risk after missing the gym for so long.
If you’re set on going, here are tips to help you remain safe when working out at a gym facility.
USE HAND SANITIZER
All gyms and fitness studios have protocols to follow regarding the sanitation of equipment. This includes having equipment that is not shared for group classes and complete sanitation before and after every class.
For those who want to ensure the best protection against the spread of Covid-19 through contact of high touch surfaces like gym equipment and other hard surfaces, wearing disposable gloves is likely not the answer. There are easy solutions like the use of personal hand sanitizers and companies like Bacoban have developed a line of products for personal and professional use.
Bacoban is the choice for gym owners looking for a disinfectant that won’t damage equipment. Whether it’s touch screens or soft surfaces on equipment, their products are designed to be tough on germs but gentle on surfaces with no discolouration or hazing on screens.
Their lineup of personal products are great for those looking to take sanitation with them wherever they go by having a pack of wipes with them in their gym bag, purse or car. “One product to replace a bunch” is something Bacoban prides themselves on and being able to can clean your kitchen, yoga mat, car, laptop, and gym equipment with the same product is a convenience we’re all looking for these days.
Bacoban is trusted by airlines, pilots, hospitals, and doctors… Canadian-made and more efficient, learn more about how Bacoban resolves the hygiene gap at Bacoban.ca
ALWAYS, ALWAYS PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING
It is imperative that you maintain a six-foot barrier between the people around you at the gym at all times. Some guidelines for spin studios are even greater, requiring bikes to be nine-feet apart.
Shara Vigeant, owner of SVPT Fitness + Athletics, is excited to reopen and welcome her members back. “We were physically distancing and sanitizing before it was cool but now we will be following the AHS guidelines to step things up a notch and keep everyone safe,” she says. “This includes staggered appointments to limit occupancy to allow for better distancing, no shared equipment, and using Health Canada grade disinfectant on all equipment and surfaces between clients. There will be an adjustment period of course in this new way of doing business, but we are confident it will go smooth.”
Yoga studios have their own challenges with mats typically lined up side by side in the studio. Sarah Lindquist, Studio Manager at Navina Yoga says that they will be opening at 50% capacity to begin.
“Students will enjoy more space to practice comfortably while maintaining social distancing with clear mat markers on the floor and one way entrances in & out of the studio,” says Sarah. Hand sanitizer will be offered upon entrance and prior to leaving the studio space, and they ask that students arrive no earlier than 10 minutes prior to class starting. Navina will also be requiring students to pre-register for each class.
TRY TO GO DURING A SLOW TIME
Are you an early riser? Head to the gym first thing in the morning. Night owl? Head there late. Just makes sure you go when you know it won’t be as packed with people since there are so many who have been missing the gym.
BRING YOUR OWN SUPPLIES (TOWEL, WATER, ETC.)
Even if your gym provides towels for member use, it’s safer if you bring your own because even if it may look clean, you really never know who has touched it without protective gear.
Bring your own water bottle as well since people touch communal water coolers or a water fountain and it will increase the risk of catching the virus if you touch or use a communal water cooler after someone else.
If you can, try to avoid the locker rooms and come changed for your class. Consider bringing a towel to dry off after your workout and if you can put on some clothing over your workout gear and then shower and change at home. It might not be the most comfortable drive home from the gym but it will keep you safe.
GOING INTO THE POOL? STAY AWAY FROM OTHER SWIMMERS
While the chlorine in the water will inactivate the coronavirus, according to experts, it’s best to practice social distancing on frequently touched surfaces.
Don’t share a lane in a lap pool with someone else and swimmers should also wash their hands after touching railings, ladders and tiles.”
It’s very important to remember when going back to the gym, we still have to practice social distancing; it’s even more important in the gym. When we exercise and we are exerting ourselves, our breathing becomes more forceful. So, that means that we may be able to project respiratory droplets even further than when we are just regularly talking and having a conversation.