As the UK further eases its lockdown measures, allowing gyms in England to reopen from 25 July, GP clinical lead at Treated.com, Dr Daniel Atkinson, explains how to keep safe at the gym.
Avoid peak times
More people means an increased risk of transmission. Some gyms have apps that let you check how many people are present, using these features, if your gym has them is highly recommended. If your gym doesn't have such an app, try to avoid going to the gym before nine and after five, as these are notorious peak times.
Remove your gym clothes and put them on a high temperature wash. You might also want to wipe down your phone with a disinfectant wipe. Lastly, shower. Do this as you normally would. Make sure you wash all surfaces of the skin gently with warm water and soap.
Doing all of these things once you arrive home from the gym may seem tedious, but it helps prevent you transferring Covid-19 into your house, that you may pick up at the gym.
Alternate between exercising at the gym and at home
If you like to do cardio at the gym, perhaps alternate gym visits with a trip to the park instead. If you enjoy cycling, perhaps consider investing in a bike.
There are also plenty of strength exercises you can do at home that don’t require equipment.
However, remember that any training with partners and friends outside your household that requires close contact, such as sparring, for example, won’t be possible just yet.
If you notice your gym has fallen short somewhere with regard to the new advice and guidance put forward by the government, don’t be afraid to give them feedback.
If you’re unable to sanitise the equipment you plan to use, tell someone. If you think the gym is too full and it’s difficult to socially distance, mention it. It isn’t about criticism. This will help to keep communal spaces safer.
Don’t bring anything to the gym that you don’t need to
The virus can survive on certain surfaces for quite some time. With this in mind, try not to bring anything into the gym that doesn’t absolutely need to be there with you.Leave any bags you may have in the car, or at home if possible. Only bring the essentials, such as water bottles and your keys.
Get changed at home
Come to the gym in your gym clothes, and avoid changing at the gym. That takes changing rooms out of the equation and lowers risk.