The coronavirus outbreak has changed so many aspects of our daily lives, and how to resume normal life again is immensely complicated. There are a multitude of factors that affect you, your work, your family, and your social life. The right way will be different for everybody.
If you are stuck about how to resume training, and especially whether or not to go to the gym, consider the following factors.
Were you one of the lucky ones who snagged exercise equipment in early March, when it was still available? Or did you already have a home gym set up? If so, you are one of the lucky ones. In this case, you can stay home and continue your program.
If you don’t have equipment and you are still nervous to go in a gym, then you will have to make a way. You can dig into bodyweight, equipment-free exercises, make your own implements, or begin a walk/jog/stairs type program while you wait on equipment to ship.
Everyone has heard the same advice ad nauseum: stay home if you’re sick, wash your hands, wash your equipment, cover your mouth, use hand sanitizer. Of course, these are things we should be doing always. Does your gym enforce and encourage these habits? Do you feel they are taking the situation as seriously as you would like them to? Of course this is different for everybody.
You might feel like a big gym can’t possibly handle the amount of people and germs safely, so you might look for a small boutique gym. You might feel like the boutique gym is too small and restrictive to lower the risk of transmission, so you seek a larger gym. This is completely dependent on your comfort level.
Here, I am referring to your gym’s social culture. If you have a lifting group, or lifting partner, or you just like seeing the same familiar faces, you might be ready to get back to the gym for that reason alone. Many people I know rely on the camaraderie as a large part of their mental health. Some people who struggle with depression, anxiety, and bad habits need the benefits of their gym routine in a greater way than they are at risk for covid. I love Hyde Park Gym’s member base, and I’ve been so sad missing updates on everybody’s lives!
Your Personal Risk Level
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, consider your risk level. If you are in a high risk category, you might choose to stay home longer. Similarly, if you care for or live with someone who is high risk, your decision might be more conservative. If you are struggling emotionally and need to connect, getting back in the gym might be worth the risk.
My Return – to – Gym Plan
That was 500 words to say, it’s your choice! I wish I could just tell you the answer, but you have to decide for yourself. As for me, I have decided that I miss my clients, I miss my friends at the gym, I miss having a job, and since I am low risk, I am going to go back to the gym. For now, I will be training clients outside. We have plenty of equipment and can get complete, challenging training sessions in the fresh air and sunshine.
Please reach out if I can help you get started or resume your training. It’s time to take care of your health, so let’s begin!
About the author
Kathryn Alexander is a strength coach and personal trainer in Austin, Texas. She loves hiking, college football, and the feel of a perfectly knurled barbell. Read more about Kathryn here.