As the lockdown on gyms and fitness centers continues, fitness professionals have had to get creative when it comes to providing effective services for their clients. From outdoor yoga to cycle classes, adapting to outdoor classes has been crucial for businesses to survive. According to an infectious disease physician, "Doing group exercise activities outdoors is going to be much more safe than doing (it) indoors." An outdoor workout class can not only cut down on shared equipment, but give enough personal space for each participant. If you're considering joining an outdoor workout class, here are 6 ways to protect yourself without sacrificing your workout.
- Invest in a multi-use sanitizer spray: Cut down on the number of bottles in your bag with a multi-use sanitizer spray that can be used to disinfect your mat, hands and other objects. Choose a formula that is at least 70% alcohol to ensure you're killing off as many germs as possible.
- Stick to the 6-feet rule: In most cases, teachers and organizations are marking spots for participants to set up. These spaces can be exactly 6 feet apart or a little farther depending on the type and intensity of the exercise. Also, it's important to be aware of the surroundings, including the condition of the land and equipment you'll be using. Improper set-up or a dangerous location can result in a serious slip and fall injury. According to a personal injury attorney in the Richmond, VA area, slip and fall accidents "...can land people in the hospital for weeks at a time."
- Wear a breathable mask: As the use of masks become more common and in some places mandatory, it's important to choose a fabric that is comfortable and can protect you. There have been several studies done on the effectiveness of face masks, including the best types of fabrics and styles for the ultimate protection.
- Stick to hands-free encouragement: Show your support for your fellow exercisers with an air high-five, a thumbs-up, or a compliment. It's important to avoid unnecessary touching and sharing of equipment to limit the spread of Coronavirus. Bring your own set of dumbbells or resistance bands and thoroughly sanitize them before and after every workout.
- Bring a change of everything: After your workout, change out of everything that has potentially come into contact with another person, especially your clothing and your mask. If possible, change into a fresh pair of clothing either in your garage or as soon as you get home to avoid tracking in anything that may be contaminated with the virus.
- Go low-impact: Choose lower impact workouts such as Pilates or yoga to eliminate extra movement and hard breathing. A Vinyasa flow or structured Pilates workout would help keep participants in one place and able to enjoy their workout without worrying about coming into contact with another person.
Exercise not only helps with keeping your immune system strong, it also improves and strengthens mental health. During these unprecedented times, it's important to stay strong both mentally and physically. Check out your local gyms and studios for outdoor events they may be hosting.