How to keep you and others healthy while at the gym.
On June 3, Texas updated guidelines that lay out the standards of safety and sanitization for gyms and fitness facilities as they opened their doors once again. Some of the major components of the guidelines include only opening up to 50 percent capacity, screening and training of employees, strict disinfectant protocols and distanced equipment. Many businesses are even using curbside displays and outdoor tents to get the message out and let their customers exercise outdoors. Even with these guidelines in place, it’s a good idea to have a game plan ready for working out outside of your home. Here are some easy steps to ensuring a safer workout.
Map out your Routine
The guidelines state that all equipment must be placed six feet apart in order to allow for social distancing while exercising. Whether you are in Texas or California, the rules for gym and training centers seem pretty consistent nationwide. This means a lot of equipment stations, placement of mats in group classes and machines in cardio areas (treadmills and ellipticals) will be changed around in order to allow for six feet between patrons.
But you probably aren’t at the same station throughout your workout. From machine, to free weights, to cardio–the path you walk around the gym will vary. In order to avoid contact with other patrons and to ensure your time in the gym is efficient, it’s best to map out your workout routine before you even get to the gym. Bonus points if you know the layout of your gym and can plan a path that flows through the facility. But even if you don’t know the layout, knowing where you’re headed next cuts down on the time you spend in-between stations.
The guidelines also state that there must be sanitizing stations readily available for patrons in the gym. Meaning hand sanitizer, wipes, and sprays. Make sure you do your part to not only wipe down equipment before you use it, but after you use it as well. This helps keep you and everyone else safe.
Sanitize before and after you enter the gym as well. You can bring hand sanitizer and leave it in your car in order to ensure you have plenty available.
Gym Bag Items
Along with the other essentials you bring along, be sure to include some new items specific for keeping you safe. Face masks if you want an extra one that won’t be sweaty for after your workout, hand sanitizer, wipes and disinfectant wipes, face wipes since you won’t be showering there, and gloves if you don’t want to touch anything.
Wear your mask at any time you aren’t actively working out. If you want it on during your workout too, that’s fine but not essential. As you walk from station to station in common areas, try to remember to cover your face, even as you huff and puff. You can purchase reusable masks and support ATX by buying from local businesses.
Shower at Home
For now, the guidelines have stated that locker rooms and showers must remain closed. But even as it opens, you may want to take a break from the locker rooms to be extra cautious. Making your home your new locker room may be the best idea as you start going back to your fitness routine whether that be a gym or workout class. Though sitting in a car sweaty can feel more than a little uncomfortable, it helps lower your risk of exposure and makes your contact with others and objects at a minimum.
You can purchase seat covers that are specifically for post-workout or water-based activities. These can wick away water and sweat and keep it from being absorbed into the seat material.