Gyms are places where fitness-minded people gather, share workout equipment and remain in close proximity with each other. The novel coronavirus has many chances to spread in public places, like fitness centers, that offer close-range contact and shared exercise equipment.
The coronavirus has placed a damper on exercise at the gym, keeping many people home. Likewise, numerous fitness centers have chosen to be a part of the solution and have temporarily closed their doors, limiting the spread of the coronavirus.
Nevertheless, some gyms remain open, giving fitness buffs the opportunity to continue their robust workouts. Public health officials warn to limit groups to no more than 10 people, making it especially important for gym users to protect themselves while working out with others.
How do viral illnesses spread?
Fitness centers are public places. Gym users share free weights, exercise equipment, stretching mats and share the air in somewhat confined spaces. In most public areas where people gather, the possibility of contracting an infectious disease like Covid-19 is a stark reality.
Health officials are aware that the novel coronavirus primarily spreads through person-to-person contact. Respiratory droplets emitted through coughing and sneezing are the primary vehicle for the spread of the virus. Touching shared equipment can also lead to transmission of the disease.
Sweat does not harbor the coronavirus, which may be a relief to gym goers. Breathing heavily during workouts is also not believed to spread the virus. However, coughing and sneezing onto others or onto exercise equipment can lead to transmission of the disease.
While many gyms are focusing their efforts on frequent cleaning and disinfecting of gym equipment to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, gym goers are urged to take precautionary measures. Practicing the following preventative measures can help protect gym users from contracting Covid-19.
Practice hand hygiene
Using equipment handled by an infected individual and then touching one’s face can send the virus into the latter’s respiratory system and, consequently, cause infection. This is why it is important that gym members wash their hands or use hand sanitizer often during workouts.
Frequent hand washing with soap and water is the best way to disable the coronavirus when at the gym or anywhere else. The soap is effective in dissolving the virus’ oily coating, which inactivates it and prevents the virus from infecting human cells.
Gyms also place hand sanitizer stations throughout the facilities to encourage members to sanitize their hands often. The sanitizers must contain at least 60 percent alcohol. The sanitizer’s alcohol content kills the coronavirus by breaking up the germ membranes when it comes into direct contact with the virus.
Hand sanitizer should be used properly in order to be effective. A drop of sanitizer and a quick rub will be ineffectual. For maximum benefit, gym users are advised to rub the sanitizer all over their hands, in between their fingers and along the backs of their hands.
Keep physical distance
In the past, gyms have encouraged physical contact, such as high fives or other forms of contact during classes or small group training. In the new coronavirus climate, gym management now discourages physical contact as a way to curb the spread of this potentially deadly infectious disease.
Respiratory droplets can travel as far as six feet, making it especially important for gym users to keep their distance from others while in the fitness center. Some people cough into their hands and then touch the dumbbells or exercise equipment, which then contaminates those surfaces with the virus.
Fitness centers have always recommended gym users wipe down the equipment before and after each use, either with disinfectant wipes or sprays. It is now critical that gym goers take this precautionary measure as a way to keep from being infected with the coronavirus.
When electing to bring your own wipe, the type of wipe makes a substantial difference. The wipes should be categorized as disinfectant wipes (not hygiene wipes) and contain at least 60 percent alcohol or chlorine bleach. Alcohol-based wipes can successfully disable the coronavirus.
Keep hands away from face
Handling weights and equipment is expected at fitness centers. Infected people can leave traces of the virus on surfaces they touch, like dumbbells. Gym users can prevent introducing the coronavirus into their respiratory systems by avoiding touching their face, including their nose, mouth and eyes.
Work out during off-peak times
Gym users who exercise during off-peak hours tend to reduce their exposure to infectious diseases, like influenza and tuberculosis. While the impact on contracting coronavirus has not yet been tested and confirmed, gym goers are advised to limit their exercise to off-peak times to reduce their risk of infection.
When sick, stay home
Rather than plowing through a strenuous session at the gym, gym users should stay home. This advice applies to people who feel only mildly sick. Feeling feverish or tired are symptoms of Covid-19. To prevent the spread of infection to others, simply stay home.
Exercise enthusiasts can still get a good workout by attending virtual classes and programming workouts. Audio-guided workouts require only earbuds. Apps are available to help runners track their distance. Online workouts can be streamed from a phone, tablet or computer.
Exercise is important for developing a healthy immune system. Working out at the gym requires more precautions than ever as a result of the threat of Covid-19. Gym members deserve to work out on a surface that guarantees durability, safety and performance.
Kiefer USA is an industry leader in gym flooring products. Our Mondo Sport Impact and Mondo Ramflex flooring are anti-bacterial, which helps in the fight against infections. Revitalize your gym floor to one that is also engineered to withstand the heavy weight of sports equipment.
At Kiefer USA, our friendly representatives will offer you the best in fitness flooring solutions. While gym occupancy is low at this critical time, take the opportunity to transform your gym surface with the help of Kiefer USA. Contact us for all your gym floor needs.