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What Will Gyms Look Like After Coronavirus?

What Will Gyms Look Like After Coronavirus?

Things will look different

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To get in a few extra steps during quarantine, people have been doing everything from using canned goods as weights to running laps in their backyard. But all of those at-home workouts may come to an end soon as gyms across the country make plans to reopen. State restrictions are slowly being relaxed and workout facilities have begun to implement new changes and guidelines. Here are some of the ways they will look a bit different.

You will need to check your state and local guidelines

You will need to check your state and local guidelines

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While cleaning and disinfecting of all public spaces is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are some guidelines and restrictions left up to individual states and local governments. For example, closure of gym cafes and other communal areas will depend on your state’s guidelines. Check out a list of when each state could consider easing coronavirus restrictions.

Screening measures will be implemented

Screening measures will be implemented

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Just as you cannot donate blood if you’ve been exposed to the virus, members and staff displaying COVID-19 symptoms should be prohibited from entering any and all gym facilities. According to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, employers will be encouraged to make sure staff and members are symptom-free prior to entry.

Self-serve options may be eliminated

Self-serve options may be eliminated

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In some states, self-serve options, like coffee bars and smoothie stations, will be eliminated from gyms. So make sure you get your coffee fix at home before going to work out.

There might be a limited capacity

There might be a limited capacity

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Like reopened restaurants, gyms should limit their capacity to reduce the risk of the virus spreading, according to the IHRSA. However, those limitations will vary based on the type and size of each facility. Club members and staff should be able to remain 2 to 6 feet away from one another at all times.

Cardio equipment could be rearranged

Cardio equipment could be rearranged

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Physical activity is a great way to manage coronavirus anxiety, and gyms are trying to make exercise more accessible. Clubs and gyms should consider rearranging their cardio machines, such as stationary bikes, treadmills and ellipticals, to comply with social distancing guidelines.

Strengthening equipment could be rearranged

Strengthening equipment could be rearranged

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Just as cardio equipment should be rearranged, areas with strengthening machines and free weights should also be repositioned to comply with social distancing standards. After using strengthening equipment, make sure you do these essential everyday stretches.

Members should remain a safe distance apart

Members should remain a safe distance apart

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While working out, members should remain a safe distance apart at all times. Social distancing guidelines should be practiced in all areas of the gym. But if someone does come too close to you while working out, these are some helpful etiquette tips to use during the age of the coronavirus.

Pool activities may be staggered or canceled

Pool activities may be staggered or canceled

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If it’s possible to comply with social distancing and cleaning requirements, the IHRSA states that pools may reopen if permitted by state and local authorities. To better comply with these guidelines, facilities should consider staggering all pool-based activities.

Showers, locker rooms and other communal areas may be different

Showers, locker rooms and other communal areas may be different

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Believe it or not, showers are covered in germs, which is why the IHRSA reports that communal gym areas like showers and locker rooms should only reopen if cleaning and social distancing guidelines are followed.

There will be limited contact between members and gym employees

There will be limited contact between members and gym employees

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Contact between employees and guests should be limited. The IHRSA recommends implementing contactless pay and taking other steps to minimize interactions between members and gym staff. But if you’re still nervous about going to the gym, even with the new restrictions, check out these tips for making the most of your home workout.

Employees must wear protective equipment

Employees must wear protective equipment

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The IHRSA recommends that protective equipment is worn by all staff members. In order to reduce the risk of the virus spreading amongst one another, employees should wear face masks, gloves and all other necessary protective gear.

Employees may undergo training in cleaning and disinfecting

Employees may undergo training in cleaning and disinfecting

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In addition to other employee protective measures, the IHRSA recommends that employees undergo training for how to properly clean and disinfect. Anything in a common area should be cleaned and disinfected, especially with CDC-approved cleaning products.

Members will be encouraged to wipe down equipment

Members will be encouraged to wipe down equipment

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According to the IHRSA, members will be encouraged to practice proper gym etiquette and hygiene by wiping down all equipment before and after use.

Members will be encouraged to avidly wash their hands

Members will be encouraged to avidly wash their hands

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There are many hidden sources of bacteria, which is why it’s important for members to avidly wash and sanitize their hands throughout their workout. The IHRSA encourages gym-goers to wash their hands before and after using equipment.

There will be increased cleaning and disinfecting of communal spaces

There will be increased cleaning and disinfecting of communal spaces

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Just like deep-cleaning your home, gyms should also take diligent disinfecting and cleaning measures during the pandemic. Communal spaces like locker rooms, showers and saunas should be actively cleaned in order to remain available to members.

There might be increased hand sanitizing stations

There might be increased hand sanitizing stations

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While an overall increase in sanitation is recommended by the IHRSA, states like Wisconsin plan to implement sanitizing or hand-washing stations throughout its facilities. However, it’s important to make sure the hand-cleaning products you use haven’t expired yet.

Workout routines should be planned ahead of time

Workout routines should be planned ahead of time

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Due to limited gym capacity and efforts to practice physical distancing, it may be beneficial to plan your workout routine ahead of time. This will give more members time to exercise. And if you’re looking for some exercise ideas, there are many free workout apps that can help.

Disinfectant stations could be dispersed throughout the gym

Disinfectant stations could be dispersed throughout the gym

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To kill germs and bacteria, facilities should provide disinfectant stations in all major areas throughout the gym, including entrances, exits, cardio areas, locker rooms, etc.

Group fitness classes may be limited

Group fitness classes may be limited

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According to the IHRSA, group fitness classes will be staggered to give staff and guests time to disinfect the equipment. Class capacity should be adjusted to allow for safe social distancing. If you’d rather stay solo though, running outdoors during the pandemic is permitted.

Floor markings and posters might be on display

Floor markings and posters might be on display

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Similar to what you’ve seen outside grocery stores during the coronavirus pandemic, the IHRSA reports that visual aids like posters and floor markings will be displayed throughout facilities. These aids will serve as a way to remind guests and staff to social distance and diligently clean and disinfect equipment.

Coaching and training can resume

Coaching and training can resume

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If members and staff are able to safely social distance during coaching sessions, training may continue once gyms reopen, according to the IHRSA. But if you’d rather stay at home a little longer, here are some at-home workouts recommended by professional trainers.

Guests should use a mobile app

Guests should use a mobile app

 

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Instead of using self-serve check-in, guests should use the mobile app to log in. For scanned items, employees should not let members hand their phone or card to staff. If you’re still nervous about heading back to the gym, consider checking out how successful your state has been at social distancing.

Employees will have limited opportunities to congregate

Employees will have limited opportunities to congregate

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To stop the spread of germs, employees should practice social distancing during their shifts. According to the IHRSA, facilities should consider shutting down communal employee areas like break rooms and staggered employee schedules should be implemented.

Employees will be encouraged to clean work clothes after every shift

Employees will be encouraged to clean work clothes after every shift

 

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In some states where gyms are planning to reopen, employees are required to place their work clothes into plastic bags and wash them following every shift. Make sure you’re following the recommended CDC procedure for washing clothes during the coronavirus.

HVAC systems may get an upgrade

HVAC systems may get an upgrade

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