Deciding when to return to normal activities is a tricky question during a global pandemic. One staple of daily life, going to the gym, is a part of your week you’re probably missing. Eventually, gyms will reopen—but is it a good idea to go back right away?
Weigh the Pros and Cons
Weigh the pros and cons of going back to your gym. Is your gym planning to implement safety precautions, such as limiting the number of patrons allowed in at a time, and cleaning equipment frequently? If yes, it may be okay to go back. If not, perhaps wait a bit longer—gyms are one place where germs abound.
Consider how many people attend your gym. The CDC recommends staying six feet away from other people in public, so if you expect your gym to be crowded, the risk of disease will be higher. When choosing whether or not to return to the gym, ask yourself whether you will be able to follow CDC social distancing recommendations while you are there.
If returning to the gym seems to be a choice with more cons than pros, consider alternatives. You don’t need a gym to stay fit. Consider working out at home or exploring outdoor options for exercise.
Bodyweight exercises are an excellent option for working out at home because they do not require equipment. Another great resource includes workout videos. Many of these, for many different genres of exercise, can be found online, and some workouts can be found on YouTube for free. You can also work out by taking up running or other outdoor activities which do not require gym equipment and allow you to distance yourself from other people.
Take Steps to Minimize the Risk
If you do decide to go back, take steps to limit your exposure to illness. Wipe down machines and equipment before and after use, and do your best to leave at least six feet of distance between yourself and others. Bring your own water bottle and towel with you and avoid the locker room.
If you feel like it is too soon to return to the gym, no worries. Taking a bit more time in the interest of your health and safety is never a bad idea. You can work out at home or enjoy the great outdoors in order to stay fit. If you do decide the time is right, be cautious and consider the CDC recommendations in order to protect yourself and others.
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