We can see it. The light at the end of the quarantine tunnel. Businesses are reopening their doors, including gyms and fitness studios, and we’ve never been more excited to lift some weights and put them back down.
However, this is probably the strangest time ever to attend fitness classes or go to the gym. It’s hard to imagine what it will look like. We all have many questions running through our heads. If the restaurant down the street moved their tables outside, distanced them six feet apart, and are taking patrons’ temperatures before walking inside, what will my gym be doing? And on top of that, what should I be doing to best maintain my health?
With all of that said, we wanted to share with you what we’ve heard from some of our Fitness Partners about new procedures you can expect with reopenings after COVID-19.
Smaller class sizes
Many fitness facilities that offer group fitness classes will be limiting their class capacity by an amount that allows attendees to distance themselves from each other in a safe way. Facilities will also likely remove any partner work from their classes to avoid direct contact. Even studios like Mantra in Tampa, FL, a megaformer Pilates studio, will be completely removing a couple of machines from each of their locations to ensure proper distancing between patrons.
Shorter class times
Some locations will be offering shorter class times to allow for enough time to properly clean facilities in between classes, in addition to avoiding rushes that could result in breaking procedure. Peerfit Fitness Partner, Kaia Fit, stated: “We are capping our class times at 45 minutes to create a window for cleaning, while also staggering class times for proper entrance and exit. Floors, door handles, bathrooms, etc., will be thoroughly cleaned after every class.”
Fans and/or AC may be no more
Some locations, like Tampa Peerfit Fitness Partner, CrossFit Hyde Park, will be turning their fans off at all times. Fans and air conditioning have been speculated to spread the coronavirus, causing concern around the fitness industry in particular, as exercise can promote heavy breathing.
You may be asked to bring minimal belongings
Bringing minimal belongings will reduce the amount of time you’ll need to linger in locker rooms or lobbies at gyms and studios. This allows patrons to quickly enter and exit. Every little effort adds up to a safer, healthier environment.
Some facilities have opened up outdoor spaces to host workouts in addition to their indoor facilities. As some evidence has shown that the virus spreads more readily inside, outdoor workout classes have been added to many a Fitness Partner schedule, giving patrons more peace of mind if they’re not ready to completely jump into the indoor gym experience just yet.
Overall, we’re seeing a lot of impressive attention to detail and confidence in precautionary measures to keep everyone safe and healthy. Other measures we’re seeing being taken include:
- Asking questions at the door to see if members have had symptoms
- Blocking off all water fountain stations
- Adding more hand sanitizer/wipe stations
- Removing all trinkets from front desk or bathrooms (mints, hair ties, etc)
- Creating stations with tape/markings/circles in group fitness rooms
- Requirements for new waivers
As for your own precautions, the CDC has shared some general guidelines to follow for sanitation and protection from the coronavirus. While facilities will be doing their best to prevent the spread, it’s up to each individual person, as well, to take preventative measures.