It is perhaps the most troubling question right now to gym junkies, ‘fitspo’ wannabes and just anyone who currently pays big dollars for a gym membership. Amid event and business closures as well as social distancing, is it really that smart to be heading to a humid, sweaty, cesspool room once a day? It is no secret that many businesses are upping the ante on sanitation and that includes gyms. But are we being ignorant or is attending a quick cardio or strength session completely safe?
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spread through water droplets from the eyes, nose and mouth, and transmitted to another person. At least before whole cities and regions are locked down, free movement is very much still a thing in Australia which means small scale public gatherings are allowed – at least for now. So in the meantime, many people still attend a workout.
This week, doctors spoke with the ABC and said while they can easily harbour germs, gyms are entirely sanitary as long as basic hygiene is practiced.
“I think the gym is fine, but everybody needs to practice good hygiene,” said physician and journalist Dr Norman Swan in an interview with ABC Radio. “If you’re going to the gym, I would be very focused on hand washing using hand sanitisers. All of those social distancing and good hygiene measures,”
“We want everybody in the community to start practising those and to start thinking about how we will practice social distancing moving forward.”
“[The outbreak] doesn’t mean you stop going to the gym, but it means you’ve got to be super careful in the gym. So you’re going to wipe [things] down [there] with an alcohol hand sanitiser,” Swan continued, also noting that it may be prudent to steer clear of the steam room for now.
For now, we’ll take this advice. But as always, if you’re feeling unwell, create a makeshift gym at home.