With it being less than a week before gyms are allowed to reopen once again, the experts at Biofreeze have offered some tips on how to stay safe when you go back to the gym, both in regard to COVID-19 and physically.
Staying Safe When Gyms Reopen
Change and get showered at home
Not only will changing and showering at home reduce the time you’re in the gym, it will also reduce any chances of cross-contamination. Be sure to jump in the shower as soon as you get home and pop your workout clothing straight in the washing.
Get to know the new gym layout
It is likely that some equipment will still be missing from the gym to allow for enough space between those working out. Be sure to have a look around as soon as you arrive to get to know where everything now is to prevent wandering around aimlessly.
Also, be sure to locate all cleaning products upon entering the gym so you know where to go, what’s available and what to use. If you’re not sure, the staff within the gym will be more than happy to help.
Keep your towel for your face and body only
Everyone is sweating and panting in the gym, and many carry their own towels – both to wipe themselves down and to wipe equipment down with. Your towel should only be used on your person.
Be sure to use separate items to clean down any equipment and machinery after use such as anti-bac wipes or towel. And, of course, be sure to dispose of them after each and every use.
Pay attention to your breathing
As we said before, everyone sweats and pants within the gym, that’s a given – but now is the best time to learn to get your breathing under control. Not only will it help to reduce contamination within the air, it will also allow you to have a more targeted and controlled workout. In through your nose, out through your mouth.
Make deep, small breaths so that you don’t open your mouth wide when breathing out and aim your face downwards, where safe to do so, instead of out into the rest of the gym.
Keep your distance
It’s not uncommon to have people standing nearby while you’re working out in the gym, by way of saying they’re next in line for the equipment that you’re working on.
This isn’t going to be possible for the foreseeable, with social distancing guidelines recommending a distance of between 1 to 2 metres. Instead of lingering, waiting for a machine or piece of equipment to become free, look around and see what else might be free that you can work with.
Take care of your body
Be sure to properly stretch before and after a workout. Yes, they take time, but they’re imperative to a good and safe workout.
Accept the setback
No matter how physically active you were before COVID-19, it’s likely that you’ve found motivation may have been lacking or just that you’re unable to do your usual workouts and therefore have had to reduce your physical output.
With this in mind, you’re going to have taken a setback and it’s important to accept this. Don’t go back to the gym and assume you can lift the weights you were once lifting, or that you can run on the treadmill for quite as long as you could beforehand. Start small and build yourself back up. If not, there’s a very good chance that you will pick up an injury.
Listen to your body
You will likely feel sore for the first few days or weeks after returning to the gym, so listen to your body. Yes, in many instances you’re advised to push through DOMS and get back into the gym, but you will know better than anyone what your body can and can’t take. Listen to it in order to avoid and injury.
Cold-therapy products, such as Biofreeze, are great to keep on hand in case you do pick up small injuries, assisting with the pain that go hand in hand with them, such as sprains, strains and muscle pulls.