Cold weather and the continued rise of COVID infections throughout the country have made it more and more difficult to find a safe place to enjoy a complete, effective workout. Your community fitness center is a great place to work out without leaving home, but you need to take the same precautions you would if you were in a public gym. The following tips can help you stay fit and avoid the virus.
One of the many benefits of living in your apartment community is a fitness center with equipment that is exclusively shared by the residents of your community. Even if very few people frequent the fitness center, it’s important to wear a mask, clean your hands and the surfaces you touch, and practice social distancing to protect the health and safety of other residents.
– Do not use the fitness center or any other public amenities when are sick or experiencing symptoms.
– Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering the gym.
– Wipe down equipment before and after you use it.
– Never use public water fountains and do not touch the mouth of your water bottle with your hands.
– Be conscious of touching your phone, headphones, and other personal items during and after the use of fitness equipment. Sanitize these items after your work out.
– When you get back to your apartment, wash your clothes and take a shower.
It may seem unreasonable to be asked to wear a mask while exercising, but a few adjustments to your workout routine can make the adaptation to masked workouts easier than you would expect. If you usually perform long cardio workouts, this is a perfect time to try some circuit training – keep your heart rate up with short bursts of activity followed by short intervals of rest or weight lifting to avoid heavy breathing.
If you’ve considered trying yoga, this is a great time to start! The meditative effects of yoga reduce stress, a benefit we can all appreciate as we face new challenges. The slow, measured breathing required during yoga practice makes mask-wearing less unbearable and makes it less likely that you can spread the virus. Pilates is another effective workout that requires you to control your breathing and allows you to maintain your fitness while wearing a mask.
Learn the habits of other community members who use the fitness center and try to work out when the gym is empty. It’s best to avoid sharing air with other exercisers whenever possible. Even with a mask, you can catch or spread the virus when you breathe heavily in an enclosed space with another person for as little as 15 minutes. Try planning a few short workouts during the day, perhaps one in the morning and one after work, to minimize the consecutive time you spend in the fitness center. It may even boost your energy level to split your workouts into smaller components!
If working out in a fitness center is still not an option for you, check out our blog post about Home Workouts for how to achieve a successful workout right from your apartment!