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Thursday, May 19, 2022

New Normal Gym Etiquette: How to Make Sure You Protect Yourself and Others

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As we enter a new phase in human history, health buffs and gym rats are faced with the challenge of getting their dose of workout without contracting or transmitting viruses, most specifically the novel coronavirus.

Both the government and private sector are laying down rules to ensure people’s safety. But let’s be honest—much like mask-wearing, not everyone will be down to follow those guidelines. As a responsible gym-goer, we hope you realize that it is up to you to make sure that you and the people around you are safe. Please take the time to read these guidelines before your next gym sesh so you reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Schedule in advance

Most if not all gyms have adapted this system that only people who book in advance can work out. The reason for this is to ensure that the establishment does not go over the allowable capacity at any given time. Save yourself the headache and just follow the rules and book in advance.

Wear proper gear

Unfortunately, this includes a face mask. Again, wearing a face mask does not protect you. It protects others. There are Covid-19 patients who don’t show symptoms yet continue to spread the virus. You may be one of them. I may be one of them. We’ll never really know until we both get tested. So just do your part and wear your mask. This may stop you from doing really intense workouts, but what little you can do is still a whole lot better than nothing.

Stay at home if you’re feeling unwell

This goes without saying. You’re not only putting everyone at risk of contracting whatever it is that you have, you’re also 100% guaranteed not to have a good workout and will most likely be sent home once gym management finds out that you’re unwell.

Maintain physical distancing

You may be tempted to get social especially with buddies who you’ve not seen for a while. This is OK but maintain physical distancing. Stand at least four feet apart when talking, and don’t touch (this means no handshake, fist bump, hugs or of any form of touch!). The same goes for locker room interactions. If possible, keep it brief. Again, treat everyone as if they are asymptomatic.  

Keep your belongings safe

Unfortunately, this no longer means just keeping them from getting stolen. It also means protecting them from touching surfaces that have not been sanitized or having others touch them. Bring your own water bottle and make sure you have enough so you won’t find the need to replenish.

Disinfect everything

Equipment, weights, everything. Wipe them down with a disinfectant before using them and wipe them down after using them. Gyms are required to provide disinfectants for all its members. This simple act may seem tedious–think of it as part of the workout, if you must—but believe us when we say, it greatly minimizes the chances of viral transmission. 

Wash before you exercise

What are the chances that you caught some of the virus on your way to the gym? We can never really tell. For this reason, we highly suggest washing your hands, arms and other areas of the body that are exposed before starting your workout. 

Avoid touching your face

Yes, you’ll catch some sweat and will find the need to wipe it. You will also want to push your hair back. But did you know that doing these involves your hands making contact with your eyes, nose, or mouth. And by doing so, you are either exposing yourself to the virus or you’re contaminating the equipment you’ve touched. Again, it may sound tedious, but be more conscious about this. If you find the need to really touch your face, use a clean towel or go and disinfect first.

Notify management about rule-breakers

There’s nothing selfish or douchy about wanting to stay safe. If you see anyone not wearing proper gear or practicing physical distancing or breaking other rules that have been set to protect everyone, feel free to approach your gym’s staff. They are trained to handle situations like this.

Do you have other new normal gym tips you’d like to share with us? Comment them below. We love hearing suggestions from our readers.

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