Finding out that your local gym is planning to reopen is thrilling. After months of having to work out at home, you finally have the chance to go back to your workout, weightlifting, and cardio classes.

If you want to get lean by the end of the summer, heading back to the gym is a crucial step to reaching that goal. Though it’s great that your gym can reopen, we are still living amid a global pandemic and so, there’s still a risk of contracting coronavirus.

Check out this helpful guide on how to safely go back to the gym.

1. Take Some Time To Research Your Gym’s Rules and Protocols

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If your gym has reopened, they most likely have instituted a set of safety rules. Before you go to the gym, you should take a look at their website and read the new protocols.

Some facilities have instituted practices like requiring masks, limiting capacity, and temperature checks. Since one way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 is discouraging people from gathering in crowded spaces, gyms have imposed limited capacity rules.

This means that there’s a chance your gym will have you book a specific time slot for a workout. To ensure that you can fully enjoy your workout, give yourself some extra time for checking in.

With the new COVID-19 rules, you may have to wait in line and take your temperature. You should play it safe and come a bit earlier.

2. The Best Time To Go To the Gym Is When It Isn’t That Busy

To stay safe during a pandemic, you should try your best to avoid large gatherings of people.

Even if your gym is taking the proper precautions, it’s safer for you to exercise when it’s less crowded so you decrease your chance of getting exposed to COVID-19.

Generally, gyms get the most crowded from the mid-to-late morning because this is before people start their workdays.

However, since every gym is different, you should call ahead and ask when are the busiest times. When you’re at the gym, always remember to practice social distancing. According to the

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , when you’re out in public, you should be six feet away from anyone who you don’t live with. There’s always a chance that even if your gym institutes strict rules, some people won’t abide by social distancing.

You should politely ask them to abide by the rules to ensure everyone’s health and safety. Ideally, gym employees will be supervising the situation and have signs reminding people of the new rules.

3. Wearing Your Mask and Sanitizing Are Crucial

Yes, wearing a mask while working out isn’t super comfortable. But it’s crucial to make sure you and your fellow gym-goers stay safe. If your mask is making you uncomfortable, you can find a different type of mask for your workout.

Also, you should always bring some extra masks with you so you don’t have to wear a sweaty one afterward. Did you know that there is actually a potential benefit to working out with a mask on?

According to experts , masks can give your cardiovascular system and lungs some exercise because it gives you more breathing resistance.

Though working out with a mask on is a fantastic way to help stop the spread of COVID-19, it could make you feel dizzy if you’re not used to working out while wearing one. You should take a break if you feel fatigued, tired, or dizzy.

Part of the gym experience is sharing equipment with other people. Unless you start bringing your equipment, you will need to be extra careful about cleaning equipment both before and after your workout. Being cautious can go a long way.

Just because you saw someone recently clean a piece of equipment doesn’t mean it’s necessarily safe to use. You should take a few moments to clean it yourself.

4. Schedule Your Workout Routine Before You Get To The Gym

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For a lot of people, going to the gym is a way to unwind. That’s why you often see people casually strolling around for a bit before starting their workout.

Due to limited capacity rules and time slots, however,  you should be extra diligent with your time. Not only will you help your gym run more efficiently, but you will also be decreasing your chance of getting exposed to COVID-19.

Before you head out to the gym, jot down a workout plan that answers these questions:

  • How will you start your workout?
  • What equipment do you plan on using?
  • How much time are you planning to use this equipment?
  • How long does it take for you to stretch and warm down?

Though you should come to the gym with a well-crafted plan, you should also be flexible. For instance, if you want to use specific equipment that is in a very busy area of the gym, you may want to rearrange your routine to avoid a crowd.

5. Good Hygiene Is Crucial

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When you’re in the middle of working out, it’s easy to get carried away and just want to continue building off your momentum by jumping into the next set.

However, you need to remember to frequently wash your hands with soap and water after you have used a piece of equipment or machine.

The CDC recommends washing your hands for no less than 20 seconds. If you don’t want to go to a washing station or bathroom, you can use some hand sanitizer. Even if your gym should be providing hand sanitizer, you should bring your own just in case.

After you have finished working out, you should clean your phone, water bottle, and any other belongings you brought with you. Once you get home, instead of instantly digging into a delicious post-workout meal, hit the showers and wash your entire body and hair.

Over to you…

You must do your part and abide by the rules at the gym. If you are experiencing any of COVID-19 symptoms, you should avoid the gym and stay home. Remember: your health should always be your top priority.

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