Is It Safe to Go Back to Group Exercise Class at the Gym?

Not every facility has a carbon dioxide monitor, but it is worth asking your facility if they have one in the group gym and if you can check it out. If the carbon dioxide level is below 600 ppm (the closer to 500 the better) it is a sign that the room ventilation is adequate for physical activity. As the number increases, ask them to open a window or door – or leave the class. When Dr. Marr was visiting an indoor pool, she noticed that the ventilation in the room was poor and left.

The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, an industry group, has launched an initiative called IHRSA Active & Safe Commitment to follow industry best practices and create a safe environment. Facilities that sign the pledge promise to adhere to physical distancing and mitigation measures, security protocols, and contact tracing.

IHRSA urges the gym to have a list of the logs on their website and at the facility. Protocols should include at least ventilation and fresh air exchange, capacity limits, distancing protocols, and a clear mask policy. “I would specifically ask about ventilation practices, whether the wearing of masks is mandatory at all times and whether classes and equipment should be distributed in a way that allows adequate social distancing,” said Cedric Bryant, president and chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise.

Your risk of contracting coronavirus or developing serious illness drops dramatically if you have been vaccinated. However, vaccinated individuals are still advised to take the same precautions as anyone else in public facilities. In most states, the people most likely to go to gyms or teach a fitness class are younger and healthier, and therefore less of the first to get vaccinated. According to IHRSA, 73 percent of fitness and fitness class participants are 55 years and younger.

While everyone should wash their hands and wipe fitness equipment, users shouldn’t judge a gym just by how often it promises to clean and refurbish an area. “We should still do what we did before and wipe your machine down when you’re done,” said Dr. Marr. “Maintaining a normal level of cleaning is appropriate. But every extra time and effort a gym has makes it clear the air. “

Dr. Marr notes that proper ventilation, physical distancing, and class size restrictions will have the greatest impact on your safety. She recently posted on Twitter that ventilation is so important that she even had a nightmare.

“I had my first Covid-19 nightmare (which I remembered),” read Dr. Marr’s tweet. “I finished tough group training in a gym. I looked around and panicked because I saw that all the doors were closed. “

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