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How Safe Are Gyms Amid COVID? How My First Day Back Was Like

This is what I learnt on my first day back, and lessons you can glean from my experience.

Updated
COVID-19
2 min read

Gyms and fitness centres across India, barring a few states, have begun to reopen. For gym enthusiasts like me, staying away has been the toughest part of the lockdown.

I always felt a discomfort and found myself unwilling and less motivated to workout at home. One of the reasons is the lack of a proper trainer to guide me, and the gym ambience does add to the motivation factor. After stipulating for long whether I should go back to bench presses and lifting weights, I finally took the plunge.

But how safe are gyms in the midst of a pandemic? This is what I learnt on my first day back, and lessons you can glean from my experience.
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After shutting down for nearly five months, the owners welcomed the decision to open gyms. However, they are expected to maintain a few safety standards as issued by the government.

Ankur Arora, the owner of LA fitnesse, told us how he ensured social distancing for his customers. Here are a few things he has implemented since his gym has opened in Noida:

  • Let customers in only after checking their temperature
  • An oxymeter checks oxygen saturation of the people coming in
  • Sanitisers are installed not just at the door but at various access points at the gym
  • A face shield is a must while performing any exercise
  • Equipments are sanitized before every use
  • Deep sanitization of the gym is carried out thrice a day
  • Monitor batches to maintain a limited number of people in the gym at one time
  • People are also advised to keep their intensity in check keeping in mind the gap due to the lockdown
  • Ego lifting can be dangerous

Do I think gyms are safe? Even though owners and staff members are doing everything they can to make it a safe place, gyms remain high-risk zones. Do take a conscious call on whether you should take this risk or not, what the rewards are, how well is your gym equipped to handle the guidelines, how are they managing their ventilation etc.

Also, don't just rely on the gym. Take all personal precautions, carry your own towels, sanitisers, face shield, and water.

(This article was first published on FIT.)

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