Since the pandemic hit, many of us are struggling to get back to the new normal, especially when it comes to our gym workouts. In accordance with many local regulations, a lot of gyms are staying closed. Others have reopened, but patrons have to wonder, is the gym safe to go back to since COVID?
This article will review the current data to give you the answers you are looking for.
In Norway, a study was conducted of 3,000 people who either worked out at a gym or stayed home. Results showed that there was little difference in COVID infections among the participants. However, one should consider that Norway is less populous and less homogenous than the U.S., so it is difficult to make a direct comparison.
Meanwhile, in South Korea, cases were much higher. It has been shown that over 100 people contracted the illness while using sports facilities and working out at fitness dance classes. Instructors were often carriers who contracted the virus at workshops and then passed it on to students.
There are many reasons why gyms are such a breeding ground for germs. The shared equipment plays a huge role.
On top of this, the moist air coupled with a lack of air flow contributes to a greater chance of the disease spreading. For example, it has been found that the respiratory droplets circulated by an air conditioner can spread the virus.
Is the Gym Safe?
So considering all the facts that have been laid out, is it safe to return to the gym?
If gyms are opening in your area, here are some things to consider.
Risk Factor: The first thing to think about is how susceptible you are to the disease. If you have preexisting conditions that compromise your immune system, you may not want to return to the gym until a vaccine is safely in place.
Gym Policies: You will also want to consider what the gym is doing to keep its patrons safe. Are they enforcing mask wearing and social distancing? Are they taking measures to keep the gym clean?
Some gyms are also doing temperature checks at the door, erecting plastic pods for workouts, and doing contactless sign-ins. Obviously, the harder your gym is working to keep germs under control, the safer it will be to work out.
However, no matter what your physical condition may be or how hard your gym is working to keep the environment COVID free, you always run the risk of contracting the virus. Therefore, you may be best off working out outdoors (some gyms are offering outdoor services) or working out at home.
All of us are looking forward to getting back to our workout routines. But if you’re wondering “is the gym safe,” unfortunately, it looks like no one is able to give a confident green light when it comes to returning. In the meantime, it is advisable to look into other options when it comes to staying in the best shape possible.
Photo by Danielle Cerullo on Unsplash