Keep COVID Away: Back to The Gym?


NEW YORK, N.Y. (Ivanhoe Newswire)— COVID stay-at-home restrictions have been lifted in many states and for some, that means back to the gym. Good hygiene has always been a must at fitness centers, but it’s never been more important than right now. What are the best steps to stay COVID-free while getting fit?

On the treadmill, the weight bench, or in a class. This is one place that a lot of people have missed.

Pittsburgh, PA resident Jen Evans exclaimed to Ivanhoe, “I was excited! I was like, let me in!  I’m ready! I was ready to go!”

But what should you watch for when you take your workout from the street to the gym?

“I didn’t really know how they were going to change up what they’re doing to make sure it’s cleaner,” said another Pittsburgh resident Ryan Sheils.

For starters, make sure you give yourself plenty of space and machines have been moved apart.

“I would argue even more than six feet, maybe ten feet or so, because the big the problem is, when you’re breathing hard and panting and at the gym, you’re actually spreading more of the virus than if you’re sitting and not exerting yourself,” explained Purvi Parikh, MD an immunologist at the Allergy And Asthma Network.

(Read Full Interview)

With that in mind, Dr. Parikh says masks are a must. If you don’t like covering your mouth and nose during cardiovascular exercise, ask if your gym can move some fitness classes outdoors. Make sure machines have disinfectant nearby or bring your own wipes. Finally, avoid the locker room and shower at home.

Dr. Parikh expressed, ““Many healthcare workers, including myself, do this. That when we go either to the office or hospital, as soon as we come home, we leave the shoes outside and whatever is on our body immediately goes into the wash.”

Ways to return to the gym, without bringing someone else’s germs home with you.

In a study published earlier this year, researchers found flu virus, drug-resistant bacteria, like MSRA and other germs on 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in high school and college training facilities … and that was before COVID-19, so experts say again, it’s really important these days to pay attention to your surroundings in the gym.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Executive & Field Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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REPORT:   MB #4762

INFECTIONS AND GYMS: Working out has many benefits, including weight control, disease prevention, and even mood improvement but germs can thrive at the gym. This could put gym-goers at risk for a variety of common skin infections, including ringworm, plantar warts, or impetigo, unless they take certain precautions. This is because bacteria, viruses, and fungi that cause infections to develop thrive in warm, moist places like sweaty exercise equipment and locker room showers. Infections you can contact at the gym include staph, athlete’s foot, colds and flu, herpes, hot tub rash, klebsiella, E. coli, streptococcal bacteria and even Legionnaires disease.


CORONAVIRUS SHUTS DOWN GYMS: As of 2018, the fitness business was a 94 billion dollar industry. In late February, as the Coronavirus outbreak worsened, gyms took steps to protect customers, such as limiting class sizes and ramping up cleaning procedures. By mid-March, local ordinances started forcing many to close their doors as shared surfaces meant increased risk of spreading COVID-19. Some gyms started offering live-streamed workouts. But most were offered for free or directed donations to their instructors. Prior to the shutdown gyms were vigilant about cleaning and wiping down surfaces, having hand sanitizing stations and limiting class sizes.


 RE-OPENING: By mid-May many gyms were re-opening their doors. But to head back to the gym both the business and you need to have plan. For starters, plan to disinfect yourself and any surfaces you touch. The gym should have spray bottles with disinfectant but give it a minute to let it kill the germs before wiping. Disinfect weights, bars, benches, machine rails and knobs before and after use. Have a cloth or bleach wipe to sanitize. Wash your hands and use a hand sanitizer as soon as you walk in the door. Adhere to social distancing rules on machines. Make sure the gym is well ventilated. Bring your own water bottle and towels. The best tip, shower and change clothes at home.





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Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Purvi Parikh, MD, Immunologist, Allergy and Asthma

Read the entire Q&A