To Go or Not to Go to the Gym: A Pandemic Conundrum 

June 19, 2020
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When the coronavirus pandemic first hit the United States, the gyms and fitness studios were among the first businesses to shut down their operations. But with the federal and state governments slowly reopening the economy, these are also the first businesses to reopen. 

The Shakespearian question: Should you or should you not go the gym? Let’s discuss the answer.  

Go to the Gym 

The White House has announced a three-phase reopening plan. According to said plan, gyms and fitness studios must follow strict sanitation and physical distancing protocols at all times. For now, there isn’t a specific protocol but we can make informed guesses. 

First, the number of people inside a gym will be limited, perhaps just a 50% capacity or less. This makes sense considering that people are advised to remain at least six feet apart in public places. 

Second, people will be required to wear a mask. While wearing a mask during exercise can be inconvenient, it’s considered a must to avoid the spread of respiratory droplets.  

Third, the gyms and fitness studios have to regularly and properly sanitize their exercise equipment and facilities, among others. There will likely be an increase in fees, too, since disinfection costs money.  

The bottom line: It may be safer than you think to go to 24 Hour Fitness for your regular exercise sessions after it has reopened.  You should follow the gym’s health protocols, even encourage other gym-goers to do so. 

Not to Go to the Gym 

But if you have doubts about the safety of being in such an enclosed space with strangers, you’re justified in avoiding your favorite gym for now. You can follow the safety protocols, of course, but you cannot say the same of others. You may even find that many gym-goers aren’t exactly cognizant of the dangers of Covid-19 despite the 119,000+ death toll in the United States.  

You may want to look for options aside from the gym. You can continue with your at-home exercise routine or you can exercise outdoors. If you choose the latter, you should continue following the minimum safety protocols, such as physical distancing, washing your hands often, and wearing a mask.  

In the end, you have to make decisions that are based on your beliefs. If you trust the gym, you can exercise again there but be aware of the risks that come with it.  You may even find that few people are coming to it anyway so you may have an entire room to yourself. 

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