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10 precautions you should take if you are planning to hit the gym

Coronavirus has affected all of us and every place around us. Gyms and yoga centers are no different, after remaining closed for almost four months these are set to reopen. But many amongst us are skeptical of hitting the gym or yoga facilities for the uncertainty associated with corona virus pandemic. We are well aware of the precautions we should take to prevent ourselves from corona virus. 

Dr Shelly Sharma Dr Shelly Sharma
New Delhi Published on: August 05, 2020 18:45 IST
10 precautions you should take if you are planning to hit the gym
Image Source : PIXABAY

10 precautions you should take if you are planning to hit the gym

As the gyms set to reopen under unlock 3.0, I am sure all fitness enthusiasts are feeling extremely happy and relieved as it will give them the much needed break from monotony of work from home schedules and household chores. They can go out to gym or yoga centers and feel fresh and energetic for the rest of the day. Exercising and Yoga not only keeps us healthy but it also gives us happiness and peace of mind. 

Coronavirus has affected all of us and every place around us. Gyms and yoga centers are no different, after remaining closed for almost four months these are set to reopen. But many amongst us are skeptical of hitting the gym or yoga facilities for the uncertainty associated with corona virus pandemic. We are well aware of the precautions we should take to prevent ourselves from corona virus. 

I am going to list 10 precautions to follow in gyms and yoga centers which will help you stay safe. 

1. Carry your own kit. 

It’s a gym bag in which you can take two fresh towels, a yoga mat in case you do yoga or any other floor exercises and you should have a dedicated water bottle. Beware – Do not touch commonly touched surfaces like water cooler and mobile phone charging stations. 

The bag can be left in the  boot of your car and need not be carried inside your house so that if there is some infection from the gym which you are carrying with your bag it doesn’t go inside your house. 

2. use a face cover all the time-

Ministry of health and family welfare has issued clear-cut guidelines for gym goers and yoga studio goers and to cover your face at all times. Use a fabric mask while doing light exercises or yoga. A visor may be more comfortable than a mask while doing high-intensity exercises such as treadmill and running. DO NOT WEAR A N95 MASK WHILE EXERCISING. 

3. Maintain social distance at all times.

Make sure to maintain social distance at all times.

Book your appointments online as far as possible and try to go during non-peak hours so that you can maintain social distancing. The gym reception gets very crowded at times, resist the urge to stop and chat there. Maintain at least 6 feet of distance while using the equipment or at the weight station. 

4. Hand sanitization.

Make sure to clean your hands before you hit another machine for exercising. Use disinfectant wipes to clean handles of equipment before and after using it.  Use hand sanitizer generously to clean your hands after using equipment. It’s better to avoid touching commonly touched surfaces like locker room doors, changing room doors and toilets etc. Make sure to wash your hands atleast for 20 seconds with soap and water after touching commonly touched places and also once you finish gymming. 

5. Do not touch your face. 

Coronavirus can enter the body through mouth, nose and eyes when touched with  infected hands.  Its difficult to refrain from touching your face while sweating profusely. A clean towel or tissue can be used to wipe your face in between workouts. Do remember to carry extra towels in case you sweat profusely. Keep disposing off the towels or tissues in a separate compartment of your bag. And another compartment can be designated for keeping clean supplies.  

6. Avoid high intensity dance fitness and yoga breathing classes-

Since these exercises increase your rate and intensity of breathing, unknowingly you may transmit infection or you get infected from others. With heavy breathing the droplets from breath can travel for a distance of more than 6 feet. A researcher suggested maintaining atleast 12 feet distance between two people when attending such classes. It may be difficult because gyms may not have so much of space especially in metropolitans so better to avoid these high intensity workouts. You can alternatively sign up for online versions of such classes which can be done in safety of your home with your favorite trainer. 

Deep breathing involved in these exercises can increase your risk of getting infected specially in a closed space and also when there are other people in the room.  Plan to do such exercises outdoors, and there also maintain a distance of atleast 6 feet between two participants.   

7. have dedicated shoes for the gym –

Wear these on the gym surfaces or the gym floors only and do not wear these elsewhere.  If worn elsewhere, the shoes can pick up infection from outside and it may in turn infect those people who are exercising in the gym specially doing floor exercises. 

8. Do not attend gym under these circumstances –

MOHFW has specified that people above 65 years of age, women who are pregnant and children who are less than 10 years of age or those people who have co morbidities should avoid going to gyms or other crowded places. It’s better to exercise at home and be healthy and be safe. 

9. Be responsible-

You have to be responsible for your own health for your family’s health. Follow the guidelines set up by state or central government. Stay at home if you are unwell. 
be gentle to the gym staff and follow the rules. Clean every surface after you have used it, clean it before you are going to use it. Wash your hands regularly whenever you get a chance. In between keep sanitizing your hands

10. Be gentle with yourself-

Your body will take a while to get used to heavy workouts. Don’t demand too much from your body, too early. Go slow built up your stamina and then you can definitely go to heavier exercises or exercises with multiple repetitions. Give yourself some time to settle in give your body some time to settle in. 

Disclaimer: Author is an Onco-Radiologist based in Delhi. Views expressed in the article are the author’s, India TV is not responsible for the content.

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