The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak has meant that many people might have reservations about going to the gym – but the truth of the matter is that the gym is no more dangerous than any other location where you will come into contact with other human beings. However, a little more attention to basic gym hygiene is in order – and perhaps some slight changes to ensure that those who are attending a gym stay healthy.
Working Up a Sweat
Sweat is part of the gym experience. Each piece of equipment that you use in the gym has been touched by someone else. And those people have been sweating. Can the Coronavirus be transmitted through sweat?
According to Dr Tara Smith, a professor of epidemiology at Kent State University the Coronavirus is a respiratory virus and ‘sweat isn’t generally a transmission route.’ However, think of someone who has touched their face, or covered a cough and then touched the equipment. That is the risk rather than the sweat itself. The danger of Covid-19 coronavirus infection from surfaces has not yet been fully established but it is recommended that those attending a gym wipe down the surfaces of the equipment that they will be touching with disinfectant. And, using a towel will minimise direct contact with equipment. Even if the gym is taking extra steps to disinfect equipment it’s a case of better safe than sorry. This is a time to be extra careful.
Keep your Distance
Social distancing is rapidly becoming a requirement across the globe. However, in a crowded gym environment, it may not always be possible to maintain the recommended one-meter distance from others., Gyms are now capping the number of members at any given time. The solution may be to simply avoid high traffic hours. If you are meeting friends at the gym avoid handshakes – we’re all in this together so they won’t take it as a personal insult.
By now almost every person knows that you must wash your hands with soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Alcohol is very effective at killing microbes, including both viruses and bacteria, because it unfolds and inactivates their proteins.
Surprisingly those attending the gym (in fact everyone) should be looking for a hand sanitiser with an alcohol concentration of around 60%. Higher concentrations are not more effective – and in fact, may not offer the levels of disinfection that the 60% concentrations offer. The reason is that alcohol at 100% evaporates extremely quickly, meaning that even as you are spending that required 20 seconds rubbing your hands the sanitiser is becoming less and less effective. The addition of water to the formulation makes hand sanitiser that much more effective.
Consider washing or sanitising your hands between sets.
Don’t Get Steamed
Many experts have also recommended staying away from steam rooms at the moment. Humid environments are perfect breeding grounds for microorganisms to flourish.
For those who want to keep up with their gym routine (and all evidence points to the fact that a gym is safe if certain basic hygiene rules are followed) the key to continued good health seem to be four words. Wipe, Wash and Maintain Distance. Of course, other basic rules such as not touching your face and using a towel should be followed. If these rules are followed there is no reason for you not to continue on your journey towards fitness and a healthy lifestyle.
Our Commitment to Our Members
We have committed ourselves to the safety and welfare of our members. The gym has always prided itself on being a safe environment for those who enjoy a healthy lifestyle. The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak has focused us on a new level of commitment to ensuring that the gym is even safer for our members in these trying times. We have increased the frequency of our disinfection activity and are committed to strictly adhering to the recommendations of the Ministry of Health. We are monitoring the situation carefully and implementing processes in order to ensure the wellbeing of our members and staff.