Avoid group exercise classes.

Lines from movies and lyrics from songs sometimes stay with us for decades, even when misquoted. “Mama always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates.” “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.” “We’re going to need a bigger boat.” “If you build it, they will come.” “Houston, we have a problem.” The previous quotes are not actual quotes from the movies.

However, is it safe to go to the gym nowadays? We knew the threat in 1978, the great white shark could gobble up everyone in the water. Can COVID-19 ruin your day in the gym?

The first two questions that must be answered are ‘how old are you’ and ‘how good is your health.’ The next question is, ‘where is your gym in relation to COVID-19 risks?’ That question might be harder to determine. Some counties break down COVID-19 cases by the ZIP Code.

If you are over 65 years of age and you have pre-existing health issues, avoid going to a gym. If you are over 65 years of and in good health, then it is your decision. Decide wisely! If you live in an area with a higher risk of contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus, again, exercise caution.

If your gym has group exercises, you might want to wait. If the area for lifting weights is cramped, you might want to wait. Social distancing must be considered. Exercising with your wife or girlfriend is not a social distance problem. However, lifting weights next to people you do not know might be.

Sharing is not caring in our COVID world. Do not use weights, bands, mats, etc. without ensuring they have been thoroughly cleaned between use. A recent study done in Norway found that social distance, face masks, and handwashing did not endanger gymgoers. Scientists believe that the coronavirus is an airborne contagion and not passed through sweat.

A South Korea gym tracked increased COVID-19 infections to fitness dance classes at several gyms. Intense exercise inside should be avoided for personal protection. Each state sets its own restrictions on bars, restaurants, and gyms. Outside exercise is always safer than inside when doing aerobic exercises.

Aerobic exercise increases breathing rates and oxygen demands. Wearing a mask can inhibit oxygen needs and be detrimental. Each gym has rules. Circuit training may be restricted to one machine at a time. You might have to bring your own bands. Showers may not be available. Basketball courts and other group sports activities may not be allowed.

It is a decision only you can make. Check it out first before showing up and expecting to have full use of the gym. You are responsible for your own health and safety.

Use face masks appropriately. Wash your hands often. Disinfect items you brought to the gym appropriately. Segregate your gym clothes and wash them when you return home. Things happen and distractions can lead you down a path that takes your mind away from that final step of washing your gym clothes.

Be vigilant! If you do not feel safe, move to another area, or leave. The ocean is a large body of water, but a shark can attack without warning!

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com


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