Are Gyms safe to reopen amid COVID-19 spread?

Gym owners claim an array of precautions to assure their safety, believing that gyms are far safer than other places.

Gyms have been a part of the lifestyle for millions over several years. But it has been inaccessible due to the pandemic caused by the Coronavirus. For those who go to the gym every day, there is nothing more painful than not being able to work out.

Nevertheless, there have been arguments going on whether the gyms should re-open or not. The main question lies on if they are safe to be considered to re-open during this pandemic.

Why gyms are safer than other public places

Gyms were among the businesses allowed to operate in the first phase of the American economy’s re-opening as per the White House’s guidelines. Several gym owners and some fitness and sports club associates believe that gyms can be much safer than places such as bars, pubs, restaurants, and shops.

For instance, since gyms have membership policies, it is much easier to keep track of the visitors and their personal information. This can prove to be a massive lead in tracking the virus’s spread if there’s an outbreak.

On the other hand, in places like restaurants, bars, and pubs, it is impossible to keep track of the customers.

The risks and challenges

With the re-opening, letting gyms operate comes with huge risks. Some gym exercises can be highly ‘risky’ since some may require using equipment shared inside the gyms.

Moreover, the heavy breathing led by the exercise can contribute to spreading the virus. Fitness experts say that the sweat and water droplets in the gym can travel farther than six feet.

As a result, it makes it even easier for the virus to spread and difficult for people to be safe around the gym while exercising.

Many gyms have made it mandatory to wear masks inside while working out. However, according to several gym members, wearing masks acts as a ‘hindrance’ to their proper workout.

Aside from these certain risks, one of the worst is that many gyms are not following through government and WHO guidelines, which eventually may lead to expanding the outbreak.

The ‘possible’ solutions

However, there are several protocols that the gyms can follow to operate safely and successfully. One is allowing only a limited number of people inside.

Around 10-12 people can fit inside a gym with an area approximately 4000 sq. ft. Allowing less number of people is one of the protocols. This will ensure that necessary measures, such as social distancing, are followed.

Moreover, having ‘exercise boxes’ will assure that the virus will not spread. It ensures that the sweat vapors are not let out while exercising. Furthermore, the proper time-to-time cleaning of equipment further reduces the risk of spreading.

Image courtesy of 4 PM production/Shutterstock

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