Yes, the virus does exist and millions have died. Despite many people feeling a bit ambivalent about it (especially ones that have not lost loved ones or actually know others who have it), Covid-19 DOES kill at random depending on one's health, age, ethnicity, gender etc. The reported numbers are not fake (although, maybe a bit inaccurate),
That said, exercise is important for all humans. Medical experts all agree on this and getting it during Covid times can be challenging at gyms or fitness centers (naturally, if you can get it outside, that is best and safest, but weather make dictate this).
I have been going to the gym daily since May 2020, right after the epic spike and closure Covid caused for a few months. I was apprehensive but the gym I go to is ruthless about cleaning their machines and weights. They blocked off certain machines to create space between stations, they provide disinfectant spray and towels to wipe down after use and they have a capacity limit (set by the health department). This is the first important item. How does your gym or fitness center fight Covid? Are they lax in their efforts or not at all? Do they try to help users clean their machines with spray and wipes? Is their ventilation system on along with ceiling fans? Do employees wear masks?
What Can You Do?
Most gyms do not require its customers to wear masks. Wearing a mask when using various machines can be done especially ones that are not too strenuous and require heavy breathing. If you are comfortable with wearing one on certain machines, do so. I tried and while it was not an issue, I decided to protect myself in other ways.
The Other Ways
When you first enter the gym, scan it. Does seem to crowded to keep a safe distance from others? Maybe the section you favor is or is not, make a judgment call on where to workout safely first. As you navigate to your destination, try to keep your distance from others, once at the location, make sure you are keeping distance from others as your workout (not always easy). Make adjustments if needed.
If you are on the treadmill or ellipticals and others, if the machine has a built-in fan, turn it on high and direct the airflow on your face. Keep the air flow swirling all around you. Prior touching any surfaces on anything, use a towel or wipe and spray where your hands will go to disinfect the surfaces. You can also spray or disinfect your hands, as well.
Finally, always try to maintain safe distance from others. Most gyms have disabled some machines to create 2m distance, but in other parts where there are no machines, spacing is not regulated. If you are in this area and your space is compromised by others, cut your workout short and go elsewhere in the gym where it is less crowded or ask them to keep a safe distance.
Working out in a fitness center is totally doable despite a virus, one just needs to be cognizant of their surroundings and make adjustments.
perrya (author) on February 11, 2021:
My gym just got rid of all their social distancing signs on machines due to customers complaining about not having enough machines to workout on.
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on February 10, 2021:
My friend is a passionate gym person. Before COVID she used to go three times a week and would stay there the whole day. She's not into going to the park and stuff, it has to be the gym so this lockdown has been really hard for her. I plan to forward your article to her. Well done.