The spread of coronavirus and COVID-19 is a very real and urgent health concern right now. But focusing on hand washing and social distancing doesn’t mean you should neglect other aspects of your health, including exercise.
Yes, you can still go to the gym! Here’s how to do it and reduce your risk of spreading coronavirus (and other viruses and bacteria, too).
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after your workout. If that’s not an option, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) is okay, too.
Use the provided disinfectant spray to wipe down equipment, including weights, before and after you use it. Many people are good about wiping sweat from benches, seats, and other equipment but skip cleaning barbells, dumbbells, and other hand-held gear. Make sure you spray and wipe thoroughly.
As much as you can, keep your distance from other people. This may mean skipping group exercise classes for now. You can always find alternatives—a session on a bike on the fitness floor instead of a spin class, for example.
- If your gym closes or if you decide not to go, you can still get a good workout at home. If you need ideas, try one of the many mobile apps that will guide you through a workouts, some using nothing more than your body weight.
- This would be a great time to go for a walk, run, or bike ride outdoors. Even if you go with a friend, the risk of virus spread is lower outdoors, especially if you keep a few feet between you. Plus there are physical and psychological benefits to outdoor exercise beyond the activity itself.
- If you are sick, please stay home! You can still do light activity with mild symptoms, but it’s best to take the day off if you have a cough or fever.