Gym Hygiene Habits To Live By
As much as it might sting, the fact is COVID-19 is here to stay. We should make peace with it and develop healthy habits to combat it. If you think you’re safe from the deadly disease because you’ve got the shots, think again. The effectiveness of the vaccines lasts for a year at max.
The novel coronavirus has permanently changed personal hygiene and how we interact with each other. We’ll soon see the vaccine shots taking the form of antibiotics and face masks becoming a norm.
On top of that, gyms aren’t the most hygienic places. It’s not uncommon to see a sweaty bro covering the benches and equipment with his bodily juices. It has also been found that viruses like corona can spread through the air. The proximity of people in the gyms and ample respiratory droplets in the air make it a fertile breeding ground for the virus.
5 Gym Habits You Should Follow Post COVID
Carry a Towel
If you weren’t carrying a towel already, you are a part of the problem. After the pandemic, you should ideally carry two towels to the gym. One for your face and the other for wiping down the gym equipment.
A very common mistake that most people make is that they keep their towels at random places while they’re doing their set. You don’t want other people touching and handling your wipes. If a single person has touched your towel, it beats the purpose of carrying it in the first place.
Also, for the love of God, stop using your t-shirt to wipe your face. Your t-shirt is full of germs by the end of the day, and then you wear it to the gym and use your sleeve to wipe off the sweat. If you’re so keen on getting an infection, you should rather ask someone to sneeze in your face.
Don’t Use The Gym’s Waterbottles
Many gyms provide you with water bottles and hand towels when you walk in for your workout. Although these gyms might be following the safety precautions, you shouldn’t push your luck too hard.
You should also avoid using your gym’s water cooler, toilets, saunas, and spas. Hit the gym for weight training and leave at the earliest. While you’re on your way out, make sure you don’t stop at the gym’s cafe.
A study conducted by Nature found that gyms are among the four riskiest places for transmission. They acted as “super-spreading” sites for COVID-19 transmission last spring, accounting for the majority of new infections in large U.S. cities. Good luck getting this out of your head the next time you step inside a gym.
Sanitization is the name of the game when it comes to keeping your hands clean of any viruses and bacteria. You should train at a gym that has dedicated staff for sanitizing the equipment every time someone uses it.
Carrying a hand sanitizer to the gym is also a good idea. If your gym doesn’t have staff for sanitizing the equipment, limit your workouts to a minimum of equipment and do the dirty work of cleaning the machines yourself.
Many people have a habit of touching their faces and wiping off sweat with the back of their hands. You should make sure you don’t touch your face without sanitizing your hands. After you’re done with your workouts, wash your hands thoroughly for at least one minute without fail.
Wearing masks can be irritating, we know, but nothing is more effective at blocking contagious viruses, and it should definitely be a part of your gym habits. There are many kinds of masks in the market these days – designer, artistic, and whatnot but the most effective ones are surgical and N95s.
Surgical masks are a great fit for the gym as they are light and stretchable. On the other hand, working out in N95s can give you the experience of training in an elevation mask.
Many people have the habit of wearing the same masks for weeks. Once their mask gets visibly dirty, they wash it and start wearing it again. You should use a new mask every day. Surgical masks are great for this cause because they are budget-friendly and effective.
Select Your Gym Timings Wisely
You don’t want to be hitting the gym at the peak hours which usually are 5-9 am and 6-10 pm. If your schedule allows, ask your gym management when the iron paradise is the least crowded and book a training session at that time.
Another benefit of training at a ‘quiet’ time is that your workouts will be shorter as you won’t have to wait for your turn at the busy machines. Plus, you don’t have to worry about making sweat babies with the “corona is a scam” guy.
If you go to the gym just for cardio, you should probably explore other options like hitting the track or buying cardio equipment for home. Considering the current situation, if you can do something out in the open, you don’t want to be doing the same thing in a room full of 50 people.
Bonus: Choose Your Gym Carefully
Covid-19 has changed how you should choose a gym. Except for the usual machines, equipment, free weights, you should now also check if the gym has proper ventilation and if they have air purification systems installed at the facility.
We saw a rise in the pod-gym culture after the gyms started opening up after coronavirus. Expect this to become a new standard in one form or the other. Boutique franchises that offer classes to a fixed number of people at a time like Rise Nation, DanceBody, SoulCycle will be big beneficiaries of this culture.
You should opt for the gym which avoids cross-contamination with the right capacity, cleaning, and ventilation. A gym that makes temperature checks, wearing masks, using sanitizers mandatory, and requires you to pre-book your workout time slot should be preferred.