Coronavirus Pandemic has changed the world! Over the last one-year fitness enthusiasts and gym-goers around the world have been relying on home workouts to maintain or achieve their fitness goals. We have all dearly missed working out at the gym. The wait for the vaccine is over and the marathon task to get everyone vaccinated is in full flow. Many Countries have begun to slowly reopen, your local gym is likely opening its doors, too.
However, there has been a resurgence of Coronavirus cases reported in some countries/ states. Are you worried about catching an infection at the Gym? How safe is it to workout at the Gym? Should you use a mask at the Gym?
So, if you have decided to return to your old routine and buy the Gym subscription, consider the following points to keep yourself and others safe –
Is it safe to return to the gym?
Yes, it is safe to go to the Gym. If Gyms have been reopened, it means your state authorities believe it is safe to open them, so yes, we can go and work out the gym. But make sure to take all the necessary precautions to avoid infection. An important aspect to consider here is that this will vary from individual to individual. For example, if you are a 20 something perfectly fit person with no known morbidities from the past, then you are at a much lower risk in comparison to an older person with a history of medical conditions. So, if you have decided to go workout at the Gym, listed below are a few tips to keep yourself safe from catching the infection –
- The best way to protect yourself is to limit contact with others. No handshakes or fist bumps instead, just say hi.
- Wipe down equipment. Not just after you use it, but also before.
- Wash your hands. Wash them when going out on the floor. Wash them when you return.
- Wipe down your locker before you open it.
- Also carry a sanitizer in your gym bag and use it frequently.
Should you use a mask at the Gym?
Studies have shown that our breathing rates can double or even quadruple when we use a mask while working out at the gym, which may help spread infectious droplets faster, and without proper ventilation, this puts you at higher risk of catching or transmitting the disease.
Wearing a mask during exercise reduces the risk that we will infect someone else with the novel coronavirus. But wearing a mask also affects how the exercise affects us. We all know how important breathing is while working out. Proper breathing while working out gets oxygen to your lungs and optimal oxygen levels are necessary to provide nutrients to the body cells and perform to your potential. When we wear masks, we cannot inhale air freely, so less amount oxygen reaches our lungs and so energy requirements are not fulfilled quickly, consequently, we may experience fatigue too soon.
To round it all up, wearing a mask while working out is a personal choice. Your performance is bound to get affected if you use a facemask, but you will be at a much lower risk of catching the infection. Make sure that the gym you choose allows you to maintain 6 feet of social distance in a manageable way, and that they also conduct thermal screening of everyone entering.
If the coronavirus is still on the rise at your location, you can take a break from lifting and do bodyweight training at home in the meantime. Remember, if we all obey the instructions, things will go back to normal in few months and then we can all go back to lifting at the gyms!