You probably never thought you’d have to read a how-to guide about the gym and a potentially deadly pandemic, but here we are. In the COVID era, we are all attempting to figure out how to go about our daily lives with as little risk to ourselves, our families, and the general public.
The easiest way to cut down on your risk for contracting COVID is to stay home and not interact face to face with anyone outside of those who live in your house. However, it’s not practical to think that you can stay in your house 24/7 for the foreseeable future. You have to get groceries and other essentials. For some people, the gym is a necessity. We understand that for many people, the gym is medicine - medicine for your body and medicine for your mental health. We understand that because we are you!
When we leave the house, we’re told to wear a mask and be sure to social distance. How does that apply in the gym setting?
If you’ve yet to reenter the gym, and you’re itching to go back, the first step is to learn your gym’s new COVID policies. Strict guidelines are put into place for gyms to safely open, and they may have their own policies designed to keep staff and clients safe. You’ll want to find out what their COVID policies are concerning:
Regardless of your gym’s COVID policies, you should consider wearing a mask and attempting to social distance as best you can when you enter the gym, just like when you enter any other public setting. By wearing a mask and keeping your social distance, you can limit the spread of the disease.
Assuming you follow your gym’s policies regarding COVID, and you’re doing the responsible thing and wearing a mask, here are some other social distance rules to follow when you reenter the gym for the first time in the COVID world.
Social distance guidelines vary slightly but are generally six feet between you and the next person. However, consider keeping a minimum of ten feet between you and others while you exercise. We suggest ten feet because lungs that are working hard expel droplets up to ten feet from the nose and mouth. In the gym, people are working their bodies and lungs hard, so try to keep as much space as possible between you and others.
We hear you. Masks are uncomfortable to begin with, and wearing them over your nose and mouth while your respiratory rate is raised, and you’re sweating? Misery.
Still, yes, you should wear a mask in the gym. Hard-working lungs expel bodily fluids farther and faster, and COVID doesn’t always show symptoms. You could be working out next to a person who doesn’t know he is positive for COVID, or you could be the one that is unknowingly infected. We would argue that of all the places you go to, the gym might be the most important place to wear a mask and social distance.
COVID is a serious, highly contagious illness that we all need to take seriously. It’s possible to resume your gym routine, but follow your gym’s protocols to do it safely. So keep social distance, wear a mask, wash your hands, and get in and out. To provide your body some potential protection, consider adding a vitamin D supplement to your diet. Some studies suggest that COVID is significantly milder in those with a higher vitamin D content in their diet. Let's get through this together!
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