Coronavirus: 7 Tips to Stay Healthy at the Gym

It seems that every other news article these days is about the coronavirus: how far it has spread and precautions to stay healthy. While at Eastpointe Health & Fitness we do not want to fall prey to exaggerated fears demonstrated by some (check out this article about a University of Toronto infectious disease doctor being more worried about mass panic than the coronavirus), we do want to empower our members as well as reassure them that we our keeping the health and safety of our members as our top priority.

Like all public spaces, gyms are a place where people congregate, however according to Dr. Paul Sax from the division of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston as quoted by a Time magazine article, gym-goers do not need to worry. “I wouldn’t say there’s anything particular about people sweating that makes them more contagious,” says Dr. Sax. The article goes on to quote the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as saying “Transmission of coronavirus occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through contact with contaminated surfaces,”  

While that’s very reassuring to gym-goers, it’s still a good idea to take extra precautions. By now we all know to wash our hands, not touch our face, but what else can you do to stay healthy while working out at the gym?

At Eastpointe Health & Fitness, we sanitize our equipment daily – coronavirus or not – but now our staff is even more diligent in disinfecting all the machines. We’re also providing more hand sanitizer bottles in different locations in the gym.

Here are some tips on what you can do to stay healthy while staying fit:

1. Wipe-down machines BEFORE and AFTER you use them

Although we ask all members to wipe down machines after they’ve used them, as an extra precaution, it is a good idea to wipe down any machine BEFORE using it as well. You might also want to start wiping down dumbbells as well as an extra precaution.

2. Lay a towel over exercise mats before using them

This is good advice regardless of coronavirus concerns. It’s always a good idea to use a towel to catch your sweat to keep it fresh for the next person using it as well as to avoid any germs (and sweat) the person working out before you might have passed on.

3. Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes

Our nose, mouth and eyes are the only entryways of the coronavirus as well as many other germs, so if we avoid touching our faces, that’s a sure way to stave off the virus. We realize that’s easier said than done as a 2015 study by APIC (the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology) estimates that people touch their faces about 23 times per hour!

4. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after working out

A New York Times article tells us we’ve been washing our hands wrong and provides step by step instructions on how to properly wash our hands. Be sure to wash your hands before as well as after working out, as well as before snacking or eating.

5. Take a break from the gym if you have flu-like symptoms

Needless to say, if you’re experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus, which according to the CDC are a fever, a dry cough and shortness of breath, stay home and avoid coming contact with others

6. Cough or sneeze in your elbow

What we tell kindergarteners about coughing and sneezing in their elbows or in a tissue applies to adults as well, year-round, but especially when those around you might be extra concerned about their health.

7. Remember to take your supplements

It’s especially important in the cold and flu season – as well as the coronavirus season – to boost your immune. Make sure to take your supplements as well as to double up on vitamin C.

Since exercising boosts your immunity it is important that you continue staying active. It also helps with stress and anxiety release, and with the exaggerated media reporting about the impact of the coronavirus, not only on our health, but also on our financial well-being, and how it might jeopardize our travel plans, we all need the additional benefit of relieving stress.

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