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Is it safe to go back to the gym? How to protect against coronavirus during exercise



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Gyms and fitness studios were some of the first companies to close their doors when the COVID-19 pandemic struck the US, and now they will be the first to reopen, according to the three-stage White House reopening plan for the country. Gyms, along with movie theaters and places of worship, are included in the first phase of the reopening plan. But how do you know if it's safe to get back to your gym?

Under the White House plan, gyms will have to adhere to & # 39; strict physical distance and sanitation protocols & # 39; when they reopen. It is not clear what those specific protocols are at the moment, but it is likely that the number of people allowed in a fitness center will be severely limited, you will need to be 6 feet apart while exercising and you may even need a mask . Even then, going back to a place like a gym can seem risky, but at the same time, many people are longing to get back to health and exercise in a physical place that is not their living room .

To get a better understanding of whether going back to the gym is a good idea, and how to protect yourself when you go, I tapped the infectious disease expert and doctor Dr. Sandra Kesh. Read her tips below on how to stay safe when you go back to the gym.

Should you go to the gym when it opens again?

Many people itch to leave home and re-enter society. But whether it's really that safe to go is a complicated answer. According to Dr. Kesh is the safest place to practice outdoors
.

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Outdoor exercise is the safest option during a pandemic.


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"I still prefer people to go outside to exercise. I think it would be much easier to social distance unless you are running with a group of people. Gyms are very well ventilated, but we know how far this virus can spread So if you are in a gym and doing a hard workout, you breathe hard, someone in your area can cough, there is a high chance of aerosolization of things that are much less problematic in an outdoor environment, since the particles spread very quickly in the open air, "says Dr. Kesh.

If you live in a dense urban area with a lot of people or little access to nature, it may not be easy to go outside to exercise. In that case, Dr. Kesh that it's okay to go back to a gym, but only when you've exhausted your other options.

"For my own patients, I recommend going outdoors, especially when it gets warmer. And if they don't have an alternative and feel it's important to their overall well-being, they can go to a gym," says ze

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Staying safe when you go back to the gym

If you find you have no other option but to go to a gym, try an hour out when it's probably less crowded – like & # 39; early in the morning & # 39; early in the morning and later in the evening – and wear your mask while exercising. Dr. Kesh also advises avoiding fitness classes because you will likely be in a smaller space and around more people. "At least for the time being, I discourage classes, and that's regardless of when they take social distance [relax]. I think that's something to wait until the disease is really beyond that declining part of the disease curve," says Kesh. [19659016] When using equipment in a gym, be extra vigilant about cleaning it before and after use. "When it comes to cleaning equipment, wipe it before and after. When we sweat and wipe our face and then touch the handle, we constantly expose that device and saturate it with germs. So prepare the equipment and after clean, even if the person who used it before looks good Remember that 25% to 50% of infected people may have no symptoms, but they can transmit the virus, "Dr. Kesh.

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Training studios and classes will have to take strict precautions, such as the correct distance, ventilation and sanitation to keep people safe.


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What to look for when going to a fitness studio class

If you go back to a fitness class anyway, Kersh recommends finding a studio that follows the practices below. You can also wear a cloth face mask in class to minimize exposure.

Ventilation: Ideally, studios prioritize airflow by opening windows, using a fan, or opening the doors to keep the air moving. [19659016] Distance: The class should not be too busy and people should be able to keep their distance without any problems.

Instructors should wear a mask: " Because very often they speak and project a loud voice. And you spray the aerosol virus even when you speak," says Kesh.

"Every gym plans to do different things, so you have to find the ones who take this very seriously, and those are the ones I would patronize," says Kesh. Make sure your gym or fitness studio follows proper cleaning and distance protocols before heading to the head so you have peace of mind during your workout.

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The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care professional if you have questions about a medical condition or health goals.


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