As we continue to navigate this seemingly never-ending pandemic, understanding how to manage best the risks involved with certain activities can help keep you safe. Since the gym is a public place, it’s completely normal to be wary of returning. T
These essential tips will help you feel informed and comfortable with your decision. If you miss the gym and wonder whether it’s safe to go during COVID-19, this article will help you make a choice.
Determine Your Risk Level
While health and safety should always be a top priority, there are a few risk factors to consider. For example, if you’re at a higher risk of illness due to chronic disease or age, you should strongly consider staying home unless it’s absolutely necessary to go out.
Additionally, suppose you aren’t at a high risk yourself but have family members or work with people in higher-risk categories. In this case, it’s prudent to be extra cautious. It may be months before a vaccine makes a crowded gym safe for you.
Ultimately, the decision to go in public based on your comfort level. No matter what, don’t forget to wear a face mask, avoid crowded areas, and practice good hygiene with proper frequent handwashing.
What are your gym’s policies?
Before you decide if the gym is a safe place to go, you may want to do a little research. You can look online or call your local gym to see what policies they have in place. Questions to ask to ensure your safety include the following:
- What are they doing to enforce social distancing? (i.e., Most gyms have every other piece of cardio equipment blocked off and limit how many people can enter at once time).
- Are the bathroom and locker rooms open?
- What sanitization practices are in place?
- Are group classes available?
- Are they checking temperatures at the door?
- Do they require face masks?
- Is ventilation adequate?
These questions can help you decide how appropriate returning to the gym is at this time.
Consider Home Workout Options
If you’re on the fence about going to the gym, that’s totally acceptable.
However, it doesn’t mean you have to neglect your workouts and fitness goals. Even before this pandemic, home workouts became an increasingly popular choice for their flexibility and freedom (with or without equipment like a treadmill).
These days, there’s such a large variety of options that you can do at home. The bottom line is that not having a gym to go to is NO excuse for skipping your workout.
The Best Home Workout Options
Thankfully, you can get in a good workout with zero space or budget with home workouts like yoga, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and much more. From free programs on YouTube to paid fitness memberships like iFIT- there are tons of unique workouts you can choose from every day.
Additionally, you can make a one-time investment in some pieces of equipment that can give you some extra variety and keep you motivated. Some of these options include:
- Cardio equipment. Having a stationary bike, treadmill, or row machine is a great way to get consistent workouts at home. Plus, most newer models come equipped with large LED swivel screens that keep you connected to a virtual community and provide you versatile home workouts.
- Weights or resistance bands. Having a few free weights or resistance bands can help you incorporate more muscle strengthening into your workouts.
- Equipment to up the intensity. Want a piece of equipment (or two) that’ll increase your efforts and muscle burn? Some options include boxing bags, a yoga ball, a pilates ring, or even a good old jump rope.
The benefits of regular exercise at home are two-fold: You can address your health physically and mentally while staying active and connected with a virtual community.
If you’re missing the gym and think the risks of going outweigh the benefit in your situation, then looking at equipment for your home is the safest option. It’s an ideal time to exercise outdoors or in your own home with equipment that fits your lifestyle and budget.
If you’re not sure about returning to the gym just yet, don’t fret. With all the available options you can use at home, your fitness level doesn’t need to suffer. With a little time researching, it’s easier than ever to have cardio and fitness equipment you need to get an enjoyable and effective workout in the comfort and safety of your own home.