For many, the reopening of gyms has been a relief, after so many weeks of home training with obvious limitations. For others, returning to the gym seems like a precipitous stage as long as the coronavirus threat has not been fully eliminated. Is it safe to go back to the gym? Should you wait?
What I am going to say next is just a personal opinion. If the health authorities have allowed the reopening of the gyms, it is because they consider that the risk of contagion is low, and I fully understand those who are satisfied with this official authorization.
On the other hand, many aspects of a virus that has only been with us for a few months still remain to be understood, although much more seems to have happened.
But I am going to give my opinion based on what I understood about the usual forms of contagion with this virus.
What measures has your gym taken against coronavirus?
Gyms have applied very similar measures to what supermarkets and other stores do.
Upon entering, everyone has to disinfect their hands.
In addition, you must wear a mask.
A safety distance is established between athletes. Thus, normally half of the machines have been disabled.
The staff cleans the machines with disinfectant between two users.
But, and it is a great but, unlike what happens in stores and supermarkets, while you do sports you do not have the obligation to wear the mask. And that has its importance.
How is the virus usually transmitted?
The coronavirus is transmitted by droplets of saliva that float in the air. Theoretically, the drops containing the virus are rather large, falling to the ground at a maximum distance of 1.5 or 2m. So, in theory, the safety distance should be sufficient.
However, numerous cases of outbreaks indoors have shown that, in closed places, and when an infected person stays in the same place for a long time, it can spread to people who are further away, especially when there is an air conditioning system, that creates air currents that increase the range of the droplets.
Is it dangerous then to go to a gym while coronavirus is present?
I see two major drawbacks when playing sports in a gym while there is a risk of contagion.
The first is that they are closed places, which in summer operate with air conditioning and in winter with heating. Therefore, there are internal air currents.
The second is that the obligation to wear a mask while you are not doing sport does not make much sense. Additionally, exercising increases the intensity and rate of breathing, so saliva particles are projected further. And since you breathe more intensely, I also understand that a greater volume of air is inhaled, increasing the risk of breathing contagious drops.
Of course, if you are concerned, you can keep your mask on while you play sports, but it is already known that the real protection comes from the others wearing a mask.
On the other hand, it is also important to note that normally people who go to the gym are young and healthy people. Therefore, the risk of complications from the virus is less than for other ages or populations at risk.
Should you go to the gym or is it better to look for alternatives?
I repeat, it is only my opinion, but I think that until more effective solutions are found to protect ourselves from this new virus, it may be a good idea to look for alternatives to play sports.
You can go to the park in the morning or in the afternoon, to do almost any type of exercise. You can run, bike, exercise with elastic straps, and much more. Even if it happens around you, you will be outdoors, in a less favorable environment for a contagion.
If you go to the gym, you can try going very early, and perhaps there are very few people, which will decrease any risk.
We are in summer, you have a thousand ways to exercise without realizing it. Go swimming in the sea or in a river, go hiking, go for a bike ride. In truth, you have a lot to do, as long as you look for the most appropriate hours to avoid the midday heat.
What do blog readers think?
Have you returned to the gym? Do you think I’m exaggerating saying that in my opinion it’s better to wait before going back to the sports halls? Or maybe you think the same as me, but with different arguments?
I would like to know what you think, do not hesitate to write in the comments section.