During this crazy, uncertain time it is normal to feel nervous to go back to the gym; but there are ways you and your gym can make sure you are safe and comfortable.
The first thing to remember before you head back into your old gym routine is that your body might not be as strong as it was before lockdown. Don’t get disheartened, because every single person is in the same position. The fun part now is rebuilding your strength (safely of course).
If you feel like your pre–quarantine gym is not handling the re–opening to your standard of safety, don’t be afraid to make a fresh start! Don’t go to a gym who are “only allowing 140 people in” as though that is a safe amount. Find a gym that takes your safety seriously. Many gyms are allowing 40-80 people in a room at a time and managing this by asking their members to book online or on their app before coming to the gym to make sure they don’t exceed their numbers or turn people away at the entrance. This also means they are following track and trace guidelines.
You want your gym’s cleaning standards to be high. You want to feel confident that your gym is cleaned thoroughly and regularly so don’t be scared to ask these questions to staff. Take your own hand gel and handbag wipes to keep your hands clean after using the machines. There should also be plenty of disinfectant spray and wipes around your gym for you to use before and after you use every machine, so don’t be shy with the stuff and take extra time to make sure equipment is clean before you use it.
Something that might not even cross your mind when returning to the gym, is the type of water bottle you take with you. Make sure this is not a bottle where your hand comes in contact with where your mouth goes. This little step is just an extra way to keep you feeling safe. Go for a water bottle with button release so your fingers are not going near the bottle straight after you have touched the gym equipment. Amazon sell a great cheap one in plenty of colours with enough water, so you won’t have to re–fill. Which brings me to; DON’T USE THE FOUNTAINS. Take a bottle big enough to keep you going the whole session as the fountains should be shut off for safety.
Avoid the changing rooms, toilets and showers. This will greatly help reduce cross contamination and means you are not spending extra, unnecessary time in the gym. Using toilets, changing rooms and showers can be high risk for hygiene, especially during these times. Also, if it makes you feel comfortable, wear a mask around the gym for when you are breathing heavy from your workout and everyone else is too, this could help you feel less panicky when around other members working out.
Make sure your gym has a one-way system or floor markings to ensure you are keeping your distance safely without having to guess and wander aimlessly close to other members. Gym’s should have also set up equipment differently to make sure you are safely apart from other members too when you are working out.
Remember to do whatever makes you feel more comfortable and don’t feel scared to ask your gym any questions on how they intend to keep you safe. So, whenever you’re ready to get back in the gym, don’t forget to check for booking options, the gyms new capacity, cleaning sprays and wipes, shut water foundations and changing areas and floor markings. Make sure you’re using a gym that cares and play your part by bringing hand gel and a bigger water bottle.
So stay safe and let’s bring our strongest, healthiest bodies back!