After months of not being able to visit the gym, you may still be having lingering worries about how to safely go back to working out in a public space. The apprehension over the rates of infection may have diminished over the past months but some people still take extra precautions in doing activities in enclosed spaces, especially in places where a lot of people congregate.
Still, we all know that exercise is something that we ought to be doing on a regular basis. After a particularly stressful time, going back to physical activity is a prescription for continued good health we can all benefit from. But how do we get over the health hazards that the pandemic left in its wake?
Importance of Exercise
We tend to easily ignore the importance of exercise in a crisis. It’s worth being reminded of its many benefits:
- Enhanced mental health to keep our mind focused and clear
- Decreased risk of chronic health conditions and diseases such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol
- Assists in maintaining safe sugar levels
- Improved overall fitness, which can help boost your immune system
- Promotion of better sleep and energy levels
5 tips for safe exercise at the gym
If you’ve decided to go back to the gym and resume your exercise regimen, it’s worth noting these precautions you need to observe to make exercise safe:
- Assess your health status first – before plunging back to your old routine, it would be prudent to do an honest assessment of your current condition. Enlisting the help of one of our Exercise Physiologists can help provide you with an objective look at your present fitness level.
- Ease slowly into your workouts – If you have taken a break from physical activity altogether or just trained sporadically during the pandemic, it would be best to start out slowly and build up your strength and endurance before you increase the intensity and duration of your workouts.
- Opt for shorter workouts – the less you spend in an indoor space, the less chance you have of catching a bug. Some important gym tips: you may also want to avoid hanging out in the crowded parts of the gym. If the adductor machine is always occupied and full of other members lining up to use it, look for alternative exercises or ask your Exercise Physiologist for an equivalent exercise. Bring your own mat if you attend group exercise classes.
- Practice health safety protocols – the infection rates of COVID-19 may have abated but new infections are always coming up. Stay abreast of the news and practice good hygiene habits to combat hidden gym hazards, especially when working out in a public indoor space. Wipe gym equipment before and after use. Avoid touching your face after handling machines, free weights, mats, and other gym paraphernalia. Wash your hands thoroughly or use a sanitiser after your workout. If you’re feeling a bit under the weather, it’s better to stay home and defer working out.
- Work out in the outdoors – when and where the opportunities and facilities present themselves, you may opt to exercise outside instead. The fresh air will do you a lot of good. If working out outdoors is not feasible, make sure your gym’s HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system) is functioning optimally with high-efficiency air purifiers preferably in place.
5 tips to work out safely at home
If you’re still wary of staying too long in enclosed spaces and avoiding the hidden hazards in the gym, you can exercise in the comfort of your home. Just observe these tips:
- Do the circuit: For circuit training, it’s time to gather up all the exercise equipment you have bought over the years to use it for home workouts. Set up the equipment into 6-8 different stations, spend 30-45 seconds at each station doing an exercise, and have 30-15 seconds of rest in between each station. Perform three to four rounds of the circuit, and you have yourself a workout in under 30 minutes!
- No Equipment? No Worries!: Dust off your old workout DVDs or access YouTube. Different workouts don’t require equipment that you can follow. You can usually find an exercise video to suit any type of workout, for any age or gender. With thousands to choose from, it can be an overwhelming process, so keep your goals and interests in mind.
- Go online: Between the internet and apps on our phones, there are a lot of easy-to-follow yoga and Pilates workouts you can follow. Despite not being in a group environment, you can still attend the class with your usual workout buddies to keep everyone accountable and catch up via video/phone chat afterward!
- Get guidance and support: Our Healthstin team is always ready to prescribe and deliver our exercise sessions online. We can video call you and carry out your entire rehabilitation session whilst you are in the privacy of your own home. From every rep and every exercise, we can provide advice and guidance to keep you on track toward your health and well-being goals!
- Keep it clean: Practice good hygiene even at home. Wipe your equipment before and after every use. Avoid touching your face after handling gym equipment. Use a towel to wipe your sweat. Open a window to let in some fresh air.
Get sound workout advice from our Team of Exercise Experts
If you’re a bit deconditioned from months of not working out or are new to exercise, you can benefit from consulting our Exercise Physiologists over at Healthstin Clinic in Sans Souci as well as our other locations. Our EPs will first assess your health status and functional capacity, then prescribe an exercise program tailored specifically to your needs and health goals. They will also guide you in how to perform your exercise movements correctly so you can avoid injuries that can stall your progress. Give our EPs a call at 1300 090 931 today and restart your journey to better health and well-being.
Exercise matters a lot toward your overall wellness and fitness. Whether you decide to go back to the gym or continue working out at home, playing it safe by observing health protocols and easing into exercise can play dividends toward eventually recovering your level of fitness.