Health experts share advice on how people can return to the gym amid COVID-19


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Governor Roy Cooper’s phase two order does not include gyms or fitness centers, but some facilities are opening their doors against his orders. 

Some gyms are reopening in phases and taking additional precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

But many people still have questions on how they can return to the gym, safely.

Health leaders say going back into a gym will increase your risk of contracting the coronavirus.

However, there are ways to protect yourself, for people who want to get back to their workout routine. 

“Just be conscious of people around you and clean your surface after use, and don’t just rely on somebody to wipe it before you but if you’re concerned always better safe than sorry. We are constantly wiping down machines and touch surfaces with hospital-grade disinfectant,” says Chelsie Hopkins, owner of ProFitness 24 in Greenville. 

Using masks can help prevent the spread of COVID especially in the gym.

“For the wearer of the mask it might be a good idea not because of the maybe 20% reduction in risk of some of the particles being inhaled but really because it reminds you not to touch your face,” explains Dr. Rand McClain, Chief Medical Officer of LCR Health.

If you’re getting back into the gym after some time, it’s a good idea to pace yourself.

“Now is also not the time to go back and do what you were doing before in the gym, because the last thing you want is to get back the first day and end up on injured reserve because you pushed it too quickly,” says McClain. 

Keeping your immune system strong is more important than ever.

Hopkins says, “With the COVID-19 the at-risk population is usually the most unhealthy population so anything you can do to keep your body in the top tier, top peak health just always helps with your immune system.”

There are things you can do outside the gym to stay healthy.

“Getting enough rest is important, staying hydrated is important, not overindulging in alcohol is important. Keeping a nutrition-based diet so that your immune system if you are exposed will keep you safe,” McClain states.  

Gyms are encouraging their members to continue following social distancing and hygiene guidelines as they return to these facilities.

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