Is it Safe to Go Back to the Gym?

It’s what news outlets are reporting and relaying to both franchise-runners and people in the fitness industry: gyms increased the risk for transmitting the coronavirus. But would the situation be really improved by closing or limiting the operations of various fitness studios?

Other governments may shut down, issue memos on temporary halts on operation, or enforcing ridiculous amounts of regulations, but gym owners would fight back that there are studies indicating the risks are unfounded, especially if there’s an investment towards preventive measures.

Epidemiologists and experts in various fields associated with medicine argue that the coronavirus is transmitted via droplets of body fluids, specifically, nasal or mucosal discharge. And since fitness studios are places designed to increase cardiac demand and oxygen, they’re high risk for coronavirus transmission..

Dr. Ian Gonsenhauser says that vigorous exercises, like the ones that heavily involve breathing organs are partly to blame for the coronavirus. Some medical professionals think the same way, and for good measure.

Dr. Gonsenhauser also says that the use of protective gear (face masks, face shields) will help reduce this risk, as they act as active filters and deterrents from individuals possibly harboring the virus. 

It’s also not impossible for someone to carry the virus without developing symptoms, but thanks to temperature scanners, the discrepancy of inaccurately identifying infected people will be narrowed down.

In other fitness studios, they’ve beefed up their protocols by requiring clients to provide proof of vaccination. Dr. Gonsenhauer says that vaccinated individuals need no longer worry about reinfection, as gym workouts will be considered low-risk.

Dr. Gonsenhauer says individuals who cannot be expected to follow these regulations can simply stay at home, and perform the exercises to their heart’s content. Their house will become a protective bubble of all- sorts,, in addition to saving costs associated with driving to a fitness studio.

There’s new research to indicate that people aren’t getting sick from the coronavirus just by touching multiple surfaces, with the latter fact a common occurrence at the gym. 

A statement from the CDC last 2021 said that coronavirus infection via skin contact is inefficiently low. It’s also true for the delta variant, a coronavirus strain that is more infectious than its predecessors. The risk for contract coronavirus is very low.

When gym goers think about it, it does make sense. Most gyms would bar entry to a client if they find that the customer has experienced any or all of the symptoms for coronavirus.

So, is it safe to go back to the gym?

Yes, and it’s also heavily dependent on the protocols in place.  But there are a few things to consider, according to Dr. Gonsenhauer:

  • The number of cases. The higher the cases per 100,000 population, the higher the risk that someone can bring in coronavirus inside a gym.
  • Existing safety protocols. When a facility fails to implement certain protocols such as social distancing, or is lacking at least several methods for hand sanitation, it’s fairly easy to pick up the virus from any surface. The existence of disinfectants drastically reduces the chances an individual contracts coronavirus at the gym.
  • Ventilation. Since fitness studios are places where respiratory exchange is at its peak, especially during intense training sessions, the air becomes flooded not just with carbon dioxide, but also the coronavirus. 

If there’s a unidirectional airflow, it brings new air in and takes most airborne viruses out. Classes such as yoga and pilate have intense breathing sessions, that’s why it’s ideal for them to be located in areas of great airflow.

Pre-existing medical conditions. It’s not just the COVID19 people should be worried about. 

Cardiac and respiratory conditions worsen the effects of COVID19. Individuals should be aware of their health status prior to attending fitness gyms. In fact, they should consult with a physician first if working out is an option. Strenuous activity may just as easily kill someone as COVID19.

With these in mind, members can safely visit their local Bodyplex or Golds, and can rest assured knowing that the pandemic has slightly subsided and is making things possible for everybody. Health-wise, at least.

For detailed information, clients can check with their local governments on the updated protocols surrounding COVID19.

Category: Featured