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How to remain safe at the gym after a lockdown

The strict first lockdown resulted in a significant shift in the way people exercised, with some people having more free time than they had ever had before, but only a one-hour window for local outdoor exercise during the lockdown. There was something about the time constraint that shifted people's attitudes toward getting out of the house, and more people were taking walks, cycling, and jogging in the fresh air.

People of all ages are using exercise apps and videos to structure their daily workouts, which has resulted in an increase in indoor exercising. A large number of YouTube exercise videos were created specifically for homeschooled children as the rest of the world adapted to the new restrictions.

Now that we are returning to a "new normal," measures are being put in place all over the world to reduce the risk of infection spreading. However, some of us are understandably apprehensive about returning to the gym, where heavy breathing and sweaty palms seem to be unavoidable side effects of the workout. Here's what we know so far about the situation.

Is it safe to return to the gym after a period of time?

All public places, including those where people are exercising, have strict measures in place to reduce the risk of infection. This includes gyms and other fitness facilities.

What steps are being taken by gyms and sports centres to keep us safe?

The staff at gyms and leisure centres is dedicated to ensuring that everyone is safe and healthy. Among the modifications they are implementing are:

  • Hand sanitizer – this will be available at strategic locations throughout the building..
  • Cleaning schedules that are strict and frequent
  • Everyone has access to cleaning sprays and wipes that they can use before and after using the equipment.
  • Pre-registration is required for all sessions, and a limit on the number of people allowed in each session is enforced.
  • Equipment that is less, and that is well spaced out
  • Each platform and markings for socially dispersed queueing are used in this situation.

There are indeed stringent rules regarding isolating, so if you or someone close to you is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you must remain at home and adhere to the testing guidelines.

How can I safely return to the gym?

Returning to the gym safely will require some additional effort on all sides. Apart from adhering to government guidelines and keeping our hands and equipment clean, there are a few additional precautions we can take.

Book a time

Booking slots for visits to places with limited capacity is set to become part of the 'new normal'. Recognize whether – and how – you need to schedule gym time is the first step toward recovery.

Get your kit on

The less time you spend entering and exiting various areas, the better. Getting there in your gear, straight in at the beginning and straight out at the conclusion, can help you avoid unnecessary risk. Additionally, lockers and water fountains may be restricted, so bring only what you need – and don't forget your water bottle.

Clean everything

The majority of gyms will supply cleaning wipes and sprays, and everyone will need to develop a habit of using them. Before and after use, clean everything you touch (and breathe on).

Keep to yourself

We've all been relatively isolated for a long period of time, and it's tempting to immediately resume conversation with people you know at the gym. While it's nice to see people, keep in mind that social distancing is still critical, and gym equipment is carefully spaced out for a reason.

Stay hygienic

Personal hygiene is critical in the fight against infection. Hands should be washed frequently and sanitiser used whenever possible. Ensure that tissues are disposed of properly and, once again, avoid going if you are feeling unwell.

Go easy on yourself

Due to a lack of access to standard gym equipment, it's natural for your fitness levels to have dipped slightly – or significantly. Pay attention to your body and begin slowly. Consult the staff or trainers at your gym, or consult a physician if you have any serious concerns about your health or whether you should exercise.

Stay safe… and have fun

With vaccines and robust plans for easing lockdown, things appear to be looking up. Staff at gyms and leisure centres across the country are working to adhere to advice and keep facilities clean and safe in order to reopen. Maintaining fitness is critical, and returning to the gym is an excellent idea for some people. However, if it is not for you or the prospect of a gym environment is stressful at the moment, have no fear. There are numerous ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle in a way that feels right for you.

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