Is it safe to go to the gym? This question is on the minds of many individuals who have noticed their “quarantine weight gain” but aren’t sure if it’s safe to get hot and sweaty at a fitness center. To further complicate things, not every gym is open which means many people are finding themselves having to choose a new gym. CDC guidelines
Here are 5 crucial questions to ask when choosing a fitness center. The staff’s willingness to respond to these questions will help you quickly determine whether that fitness center is right for you.
1. Are they up to date on CDC guidelines?
This is the first and most important question to ask. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) dictates that gyms can only remain open if they heed a variety of measures to protect against the spread of COVID-19. The International Health, Racquet & Sports clubs Association offers additional guidelines specifically for gyms to operate in the post-COVID age. Safety measures to protect their guests and employees includes things such as keeping the establishment at a lower capacity, using sanitizer on all machines after each use, and so forth.
Guidelines differ from state to state and as COVID levels rise and fall. But the management’s disposition towards the state and county regulations should be a key deciding factor to whether that fitness center is one you’ll feel safe in.
2. What type of screening are they doing for sick employees?
According to the CDC’s website (cdc.gov), the number one recommendation to employees planning to visit their place of employment is simply “if you feel sick, stay home”. However, not every employee has been taking this rule to heart. And, while it is true a person who doesn’t feel sick can in fact be a carrier of the virus, you should want to avoid anyone who does. CDC guidelines
With that in mind, an important question to ask is how they are screening employees for sickness. Many gyms have developed a process of daily in-person symptom and temperature screening of employees before them entering the facility. Daily screening is not meant to replace protective measures such as wearing masks and social distancing. Employee screenings are designed to work in conjunction with safety precautions already in place.
3. How are guidelines being enforced?
A simple poster on the wall listing the CDC guidelines just won’t’ suffice when so much is at stake. Get specific. Ask how they are enforcing the CDC’s guidelines. For example, it’s common to have hand sanitation stations available to gym patrons, but how many do they have? Are they kept full? Also, it is listed in the guidelines that equipment should be wiped down after each use, but by who? Is it left up to gym patrons to sanitize the equipment or will gym staff do it? How often? And, what sanitizing products are being used at the facility?
4. Do they offer outdoor workouts?
What if gyms close again? Who wants to start a workout routine and then find out you can’t continue it because the county has called for another lockdown? Since gym fitness is essential, ask if you will be able to continue your workouts outdoors. Many gyms offer the option to conduct workouts in the open air as not to violate any county restrictions. With an outdoor option, one can continue your momentum to get fit despite the rises and falls of infection levels or the ever-changing CDC regulations.
5. Can I train with a personal trainer?
The best way to get in shape and achieve your gym fitness goals is to train with a personal trainer expert. Therefore, you’ll need access to a gym trainer who can help you get back on track. Personal training is a very important commodity especially in counties where gyms have been closed for an extended period. Ask to meet a few of the gym trainers responsible for personal training to confirm there is a good fit for you. CDC guidelines
Remember to protect yourself by governing your own behavior while at the gym. Wash your hands frequently and bring your own items to use during your workouts such as towels, mats, blocks, resistance bands, and things of that nature. And be prepared to skip the shower room and shower at home instead.