Gyms, fitness centers and studios are open but, is it safe to go? Exercising regularly builds and maintains a healthy immune system. But, most professionals agree, exercising outdoors is preferable to a gym or confined space.
“The decision on where to workout is an individual decision regarding personal risk,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.
If you go to the gym at least make sure your fitness center is following the guidelines from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
- Capacity at 50 percent
- Readily available disinfectant on hand
- Thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces throughout the day
- Keep restrooms open, functional, clean and disinfected
- Check employees for symptoms
Best practice recommendations,
- Signage on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19
- Keeping doors open to improve ventilation and reduce the amount of times people touch the door
- Remove frequently touched and unnecessary items such as magazines, newspapers, service menus, paper products and décor from waiting areas and locker rooms
More specific instructions will differ from county to county across Florida such as, taking temperatures or making an appointment to attend.
“Apprehension about going to the gym is usually, concern over asymptomatic spread from others,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent homeowners insurance agency.
There are ways to minimize risks for those who cannot resist the urge to go to the gym.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends wearing a cloth mask, maintaining six feet apart from others, bringing your own water bottle and sweat towel. However, they do not advise wearing gloves. Gloves do not get washed often, so hand washing is better.
As far as a mask goes, you might have to limit the intensity of your workout because a mask can make it difficult to breathe. The Mayo Clinic suggests using disposable masks for working out since they will most likely get sweaty. Then you can throw them out. Also, use the bathroom at home and skip the showers.
Sports medicine specialist Caitlin Lewis, MD told Cleveland Clinic, “The biggest concern with coronavirus is being in close contact with other people and the exposure to their respiratory droplets, which are usually transmitted through cough, sneezing or heavy breathing.” The article went on to say, “And although there is a lack of research that says COVID-19 is spread through sweat, often time’s respiratory particles can get mixed in with sweat.”
Taking safety precautions at the gym will lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission, while you work to keep your mind and body in healthy shape.