Gyms and fitness centers are known for being social spaces where people mingle with one another, share equipment, and perform various types of physical activities in close quarters. However, these factors could pose a serious risk to communities and individuals amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, as gyms and fitness centers are reopening across the country, stringent social distancing protocols and high-quality personal protective equipment have become a necessity.
Various sanitation and social distancing protocols are being implemented by the owners and managers of gyms and fitness centers in various parts of the US. Members too are becoming ever more vigilant about their personal safety and hygiene, as awareness spreads rapidly about the dangers posed by the novel coronavirus. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to see gym-goers working out in face masks and gloves. Hand sanitizers and contactless thermometers have become ubiquitous at most commercial establishments, including fitness centers.
Most gyms are operating only at 25 percent capacity in order to facilitate social distancing, while the mandatory wiping down of equipment after each exercise session minimizes the risk of community transmission. The security cameras installed at most fitness centers can be used to observe the proceedings and ensure that all the protocols are being faithfully followed. To maximize safety, many gym owners are now hiring professional cleaning personnel to clean and sanitize their premises and equipment every single day.
Types of Personal Protective Equipment for Gyms
Maintaining a distance of at least six feet between all persons at the gym, practicing all social distancing protocols outlined by health professionals, cleaning the exercise equipment before and after use, and providing all persons (including staff members) with high-quality personal protective equipment are some of the key ways in which gyms and fitness studios can prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Some of the most effective personal protective equipment, which all gym owners should invest in, has been listed below.
1. Gloves: Gyms should provide members with quality workout gloves before the start of every workout session. This is because most of the surfaces of the gym, including the exercise equipment, are touched by large numbers of people on a regular basis. Despite maximal cleaning and sanitizing, it may not be possible to get rid of all the accumulated pathogens and microbes completely. A set of gloves will prevent clients and staff members from coming into direct contact with any potentially unhygienic surfaces at the gym. In turn, this would help minimize the risk of community transmission.
2. Antibacterial Wipes: Gyms might also benefit from investing in high-quality antibacterial wipes that meet all the FDA requirements. These wipes will help clients stay fresh after each exercise session and also help remove any harmful microbes from the hands, face, etc. The antibacterial wipes can also be used to clean and sanitize other surfaces, such as cleaning a chair before taking a seat or cleaning the handles of a piece of gym equipment that you are about to use.
3. Contactless Thermometers: To prevent the entry of infected persons into the gym and minimize the risk of viral transmission, many fitness centers have invested in automatic, touch-free thermometers that are installed at the point of entry. These thermometers can easily gauge the body temperature of all those who enter the premises of the gym. They are designed to send out an alert whenever they detect someone with an abnormally high temperature. Because fever is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19, preventing the entry of persons with a high body temperature can help safeguard the health of clients and workers alike.
4. Hand Sanitizers: Gyms and fitness centers that are reopening amidst the coronavirus pandemic are all investing heavily in high-quality hand sanitizers with 75% ethyl alcohol content. These hand sanitizers meet all the FDA requirements and kill more than 99% of the germs that cause COVID-19 and similar infectious diseases. A bottle of hand sanitizer, manufactured by a reputed seller of PPE products, is an easy and affordable way of preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus inside the premises of a gym.
5. Face Masks: Gyms reopening during the pandemic should make it mandatory for all members and staff to wear multi-layer face masks within the premises of the establishment. Ideally, the gym should provide high-quality face masks to all staff members and even to the clients arriving for their workout sessions. Athletic breathable masks, three-ply disposable masks, and antimicrobial sports masks are some of the options that gyms can choose to invest in. The best athletic face masks are designed to be flexible, breathable, and resistant to moisture.
Mentioned above are some of the essential personal protective equipment that gym owners and managers should invest in, before opening for business during the COVID-19 pandemic. These products, such as face masks, gloves, and contactless thermometers, will help keep their clients and staff members safe from the novel coronavirus even as they once again begin their exercise sessions at the gym. Hence, gyms and fitness centers can stay in business, without endangering the health and welfare of their patrons or the larger community.