The gym is one of the least clean public space due to all the sweats and possibly saliva on benches, machines, free weights, locker room… well technically almost every single spot in your gym. Knowing this, a lot of people can get anxious if they will catch the virus or not.
From everything that we watch on the news and social media. The virus is aggressively spreading on an international scale. According to the World Health Organisation, there have been more than 105,000 people in the world contracted with coronavirus (COVID-19), with around 128 cases in Australia and more than 500 cases in the USA while the government in each country is taking actions to prevent the virus to spread even further.
How high is the risk of contracting coronavirus?
We first need to comprehend our risk of copping the virus. According to the CDC, coronavirus is spread directly from person-to-person, normally through close contact (around 6 feet or 183cm) in a form of respiratory droplets from someone who is contracted with the virus. Also, the virus spreads indirectly by passing from one person to another through contact with objects that have been touched by those who are infected.
Generally, just like other public areas such as the gym could easily have coronavirus germs and that risk is obviously high. Especially when the cases are on the rise. According to Philip Tierno, a Ph.D., clinical professor in the department of pathology at New York University in an interview with health.com says “Any place where large numbers of people congregate at any one time over a period of time, allows them to shed their microorganisms or germs on various places”. This shows that if anyone is infected, they could leave their germs on dumbbells, machines, cardio equipment, and even just the door handles at the gym. Furthermore, Tierno highlights how these germs can survive for days if the equipment and machines are not properly cleaned.
How to decrease your chance of contracting coronavirus
The best way to avoid coronavirus germs is really simple, but it’s effective: Wash your hands. Before, halfway and the end of your workout session. Always ensure you scrub thoroughly with soap and water, especially if you’re going to touch food or drink afterwards or you know you touch your face often. You also want to skip fist-bumping your gym bro after a heavy and tough PR.
The responsibility of sanitizing machines isn't only on gym staff, but all of us also by making sure to wipe down equipment before and after use. While your gym may provide disposable wipes, it wouldn’t hurt to carry your own just in case if they don’t have them. Here is the list of EPA-approved disinfectants to eliminate coronavirus germs.
Well, should you skip your workouts? It is all up to you. However, skipping a session is not ultimately the final answer. A sports medicine physician Jordan Metzl highlights it is crucial to look after your body and mind. This includes good sleep habits, healthy eating, and regular exercises.
Dr.Metzl also emphasizes especially during outbreaks, it's essential to be alert and use extra precautions and keeping up your normal workout routines from a health perspective. "Overall, I want my patients to keep moving every day," he says. "This keeps the body and immune system primed and ready to fight infection, which is extremely important for everyone.” Also, our recommendation and reminder are to wash your hands before, in the middle and at the end of your gym session.
Hope all of this help and stay alert and healthy y’all!