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Staying Safe at the Gym During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by missfit, Mar 17, 2020.
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missfit
missfit
Participant
43 posts
  • Mar 17, 2020
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Public health officials now say to avoid any gatherings of 10 people or more. Many gyms are temporarily closed as part of the effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Like all public spaces where people gather, gyms and fitness centers are places where viral illnesses—including COVID-19—can spread. And the shared weights, sweaty stretching areas, and heavy breathing may put you on high alert.

But gyms don’t necessarily pose a risk greater than any other public space. Based on the research so far, COVID-19 appears to spread primarily through close personal contact with an infected person, though public health officials warn that touching high-contact public surfaces could potentially lead to disease transmission, too.

Taking the proper precautions can lessen your risk of becoming ill. Here’s what you need to know about staying safe from COVID-19 at the gym.

Whether your gym is doing extra cleaning or not, your own actions may be most important for protecting yourself—and the other gym members. Here are a few steps you can take.

Go at off-peak hours. A small study conducted in three gyms in Brazil in 2018 found that risk of catching a contagious respiratory illness may be lower when there are fewer people at the gym. The study, which estimated risk from influenza and tuberculosis (not coronavirus), showed that in all gyms, “risk of infection increased during periods of peak occupancy.”

Wipe down equipment. Karen Hoffmann, R.N., an infection prevention specialist at the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine in Chapel Hill and immediate past president of the Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, recommends wiping down gym equipment with disinfectant wipes before and after each use.

Many gyms provide disinfectant wipes or sprays for members to use on equipment. If you choose to bring your own wipes, look for ones that contain at least 60 percent alcohol or chlorine bleach—or just make sure it’s actually a disinfectant wipe, and not just designed for personal hygiene, recommends Hoffmann. (There are several wipes on the EPA’s list of recommended cleaning products to fight COVID-19.) “The coronavirus appears to be very susceptible to these cleaning and disinfecting agents,” she says.

Make sure to get the surface completely wet and wait 30 seconds to one minute for it to air dry. If you’re using a paper wipe, there should be enough wetness to make the complete surface look wet. Wipes that are dried out are no longer effective, says Hoffmann.

Keep your hands off your face. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth when working out at the gym, Trivedi recommends.  “The way we infect ourselves isn’t by touching dirty surfaces, but by bringing the virus from the hands to the face,” he says.

Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you’re done with a machine, or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Make sure you also do so before touching your face or any part of your water bottle you put your mouth on. Do so again before leaving the gym.

Stay home if you’re sick. The CDC recommends staying home if you’re sick. “This can mean staying home when you are only mildly ill and might otherwise decide to power through a workout,” says a post from the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, which represents 9,200 member clubs in 70 countries. According to the IHRSA, some fitness clubs and studios have started offering virtual classes, programming workouts for people to do at home, or providing personal training via video chat.

pupu
Participant
1 posts
  • Mar 26, 2020
  • 0

Good info.

AdVisor
AdVisor
Moderator
191 posts
  • Mar 26, 2020
  • 0

I haven’t missed a day yet but been very mindful to do these things

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