Safety first: Precautionary measures to take while visiting gyms and fitness centres

As gyms and fitness centres open up, people are going back to their fitness regimes and workout programmes. But it is very important to stay safe in gyms amid the pandemic
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Gyms and fitness centres are re-opening and fitness enthusiasts are excited about going back to their workout programmes. But though they are raring to go and amping up on the enthusiasm to build immunity through fitness, it is imperative to note that we are still amidst a pandemic.

Panicking is futile but what will aid the smooth transition towards going for workouts at physical gyms and fitness centres, is a heightened sense of awareness and following safety protocols, right from the start of one’s fitness regime to the end.

Safety regulations are essential in gyms

While the government has also set SOPs in place for gyms and fitness centres to adhere to, gyms are also setting guidelines which gym-goers need to strictly follow.

It is also important for them to understand the need to follow certain measures on an individual level. This will ensure safety all around, which is a win-win for us as a society.

Here are some guidelines to follow when you go back to the gym:

Carry your own essentials

First and foremost, it is essential to pre-book your workout slot in advance and ensure the facility is informed before you visit the gym. When heading out of the house, make sure you are carrying all the important essential things that are required for your workout.

These would include all your personal equipment such as your own water bottle, towel, disinfectant wipes, yoga mats and sanitiser.

Also, try and sanitise the equipment once you are done using it. It is also advisable to carry a separate pair of shoes and a change of clothes to actively avoid wearing contaminated clothes in public places and back home.

Don’t forget your mask

Masks and sanitisers are mandatory in gyms

In an environment of close contact and contaminated surfaces, it is extremely difficult to eliminate or contain the spread of the COVID 19 virus. Thus, it is imperative to understand the repercussions of subjecting yourself to such an environment and follow the precautionary measures to control the same.

One of the most important steps in doing so is to wear a protective face mask. Wearing your mask at all times is necessary in order to curtail the spread of the disease. It ensures protection and also limits the transmission of the virus, leading to a safer environment.

Follow respiratory etiquettes

Be it wearing masks, sanitising or washing your hands, the best way to keep the virus at bay is to follow simple respiratory hygiene. Covering your mouth and nose while coughing, sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow and throwing tissues properly in the garbage can are some of the ways to do so.

Practise social distancing

The importance of social distancing cannot be reinforced enough. It is necessary to maintain a minimum distance of 6 ft when feasible and also avoid overcrowding in common places in the gym. Maintaining social distancing acts as an extra barrier to potential COVID-19 contamination and ensures safe and hassle-free training.

Wash up before and after a workout

Sanitise all the equipment that you use

Another very important step towards prevention is proper sanitisation. Wash your hands with soap for 40 -60 seconds or using a strong alcohol-based sanitiser before and after a workout. As soon as you are out of the gym, you should change your clothes immediately.

There are a lot of people who continue to wear their sweaty clothes after a workout. It’s important to get out of the sweaty clothes and hit the shower as soon as the workout is done. Door handles, bathroom knobs and faucets may be contaminated, therefore, it is imperative to use paper towels to turn off faucets and open the door after washing your hands.

Self-monitoring of health

Using government provided aids such as the Arogya Setu App is also crucial in this fight against COVID-19. Users must frequently self-monitor their well-being and potential encounters with infected individuals using the Arogya Setu app and immediately subject themselves to medical attention if they experience any illness or symptoms of the infection.

Arrive and leave at your allotted time

Most gyms are disinfected thoroughly before their customers arrive

In order to avoid overcrowding, one must make sure that they show up at the time allotted by the gym/studio. This will ensure that you don’t run into people who are heading for the gym at their scheduled time, thus, maintaining the social distancing norms.

Do not show up if you feel unwell

It is necessary to implement self-discipline by staying at home during a quarantine and getting in touch with medical assistance if you are feeling unwell or experiencing symptoms such as constant cough, sore throat and the likes of a sudden loss of taste and smell.

Going into public places while you are unwell jeopardises the health of people around you. It is obligatory to implement these safety precautions and ensure your fellow gym members follow suit.

Following the rules will not only ensure an infection-free environment for other gym enthusiasts but will also alleviate your worries regarding the pandemic and help you stay safe during these difficult times.

(Images credit: Shutterstock)

Edited by Asha Chowdary

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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