Although coronavirus restrictions are gradually being lifted across Australia. We are now able to participate in many of our regular day-to-day activities including being able to exercise. Many of us are especially keen to get back to the gym, which is now available to almost all states across Australia. However, although COVID-19 cases are gradually declining, we still need to be aware of how we can protect ourselves and others from COVID-19 infections when we decide to exercise.
Should We be Exercising At The Gym?
Firstly, we should understand how gyms differ from other places where people may exercise in. This includes how gyms are usually indoor with limited spacing for people to constantly move around in. This eliminates the luxury of open-air, which increases the risk of COVID-19 infections due to being more likely to be spread indoors than outdoors. Vigorous exercises are associated with the need of heavy breathing which may eventually cause coughing or splutter, ultimately resulting in the propel of infectious particles into the air thus, contaminating the environment. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19 are known to survive for extended periods on smooth hard surfaces. This includes stainless steel which are the main building materials for gym equipment. SAR-CoV-2 primarily spreads through respiratory droplets this increases the risks of attracting COVID-19 infections. When at the gym people tend to sweat more than average and since touching your face is the usual response when significantly sweating, the risks of attracting COVID-19 infections are enhanced. When at the gym you’ve may have picked up infectious droplets on your hands from touching gym equipment used by someone else in the gym. Shared amenities in the gym including change rooms, showers and drink fountains are also high causes for the spread of the infection. Generally, drink fountains have smooth surfaces or buttons needed to be touched to operate them as well as objects in change rooms and showers having objects that are frequently touched by others which becomes a potential route for COVID-19 transmissions. Therefore, gyms are still a high risk of COVID-19 transitions even if COVID-19 cases are declining.
What You Could Do To Avoid The Risk Of COVID-19 Transmission At The Gym
There are many things that can be done to lower the risk of attracting COVID-19 as well as protecting others when at the gym. Although it is obvious the main answers include not going to the gym when you have COVID-19 associated symptoms (any cold or flu symptoms), keeping your distance from others around you and increasing your awareness on hand hygiene.
Specific Tips Include:
- Avoid touching your face or mouth throughout the whole duration of your workout
- Wash or sanitise your hands frequently throughout your workout especially when you enter
and leave the gym
- Clean the equipment you intend to use and after you have used the equipment
- Increasing the space between the others around you through avoiding accidental close
contact when working out. Along with making sure you have enough space from others
during classes where you are going to be closer with more people for longer periods
- Bring your own drink bottle and enough water to avoid use of drink fountains
- Avoid use of gym change rooms and showers
What You Could Do To Enhance Prevention Of COVID-19 Transmissions
To increase the avoidance of attracting COVID-19 infections even more. Working out at home can further mitigate the risks of COVID-19 infections due to avoiding contact with others who may be carrying the infectious droplets. Most gyms have cleaning staff however simply wiping sweat off equipment with a towel is not enough to stop the spread. Fitness experts say there are many ways you can still get in a full-body workout while exercising at home. Since only your immediate family or housemates should be living at your residence. There is a significant decrease in the number of people using equipment needed to achieve a full-body workout. Gym equipment is encouraged to be bought and used at home to avoid the need for gyms during a pandemic. A good place to start when working out at home is to focus on the basics such as your planks, push-ups, squats, leg-lifts, and bicycles. However, these activities may be hard to stay consistent with, without the use of products that assist with these workouts. The need for an exercise mat or gym floor tiles will help significantly with comfortability when undertaking these exercises. As laying on hard timber flooring or rough, uneven carpets may not be the most comfortable thing in the world and can eventually stop you from wanting to work out at home. Everything Fitness offers the @Mogan Exercise mats that incorporates the ridged honeycomb surface which also assists with muscle relaxation when your back is on the mat. As well as the @VERSAFIT Flooring which prevents damage to floors when participating in vigorous physical activities.
Eventually as you become more consistent, the need for gym equipment will become more essential to achieve a full body workout and results at home. This especially includes weights and dumbbells which Everything Fitness also offers including the @FORCE USA Rubber Hex Dumbbells and the @FORCE USA 95kg Barbell & Weights Pack. Purchasing gym equipment at home will also increase and diversify the number of different workouts you can do, while still reducing the potential of COVID-19 infections due to having fewer closer encounters with other people.