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Calling all gym nerds out there: A couple of days ago “Unlock 3” was announced, under which it has been decreed that gyms will reopen from the fifth of August. If you have already started ordering new sportswear to train your ass off, then let us stop you right here and apologise. Because we have some bad news!
“Hitting the gym right now is not going to be safe for you”, says Dr Harish Chafle, a chest physician and pulmonologist at Global Hospital. Mumbai. Heartbreaking isn’t it? But let’s face it: the threat of covid-19 still looms large.
Right from entering the gym to exiting it, you will be touching a ton of surfaces. And sanitizing yourself from head to toe after every exercise is frankly tedious. But contaminated surfaces aren’t the only risk factors. Here’s why going to the gym right now isn’t exactly a good idea:
1. Enclosed indoor spaces can increase your risk of catching the virus
Many studies indicate that covid-19 is airborne. Which means, it might just be circulating in the air in your gym. And if you think wearing a mask will protect you, then let us tell you that exercising with a mask on a terrible idea.
“You can’t wear a mask at the gym as it can make you breathless. And breathing carbon dioxide continuously can make you dizzy,” he suggests.
2. No air-conditioning mean suffocation which might lead to nausea
Dr Chafle and the researchers at the Guangzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China) both believe that indoor spaces where there is air-conditioning makes the premise vulnerable as the same air, which can be laden with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, will keep circulating in an enclosed space.
So as a precaution many gyms are switching the air-conditioning off, which might make the situation more precarious. No AC and lack of proper ventilation at the gym can lead to suffocation and you might even pass out.
3. It is hard to maintain social distancing in the gym
“You can’t control movement in a gym as the space in most cases isn’t all that huge. People already have a hard time maintaining social distance at places that are spacious; maintaining distance in a close space like a gym is going to be really very hard,” explains Dr Chafle.
4. Sanitization in a gym is going to be a HUGE problem
There is no way for you to know whether the person who has touched those dumb-bells or that machine before you is SARS-CoV-2 positive or not. Cleaning the whole machine or the equipment after each use is also not practical. This increases the risk of contraction at the gym really high.
5. Hitting the gym for people who have just recovered from covid-19 can be dangerous
“They might not get covid-19 again as the antibodies against the virus are already developed, but post-recovery the infected person doesn’t exactly have the strength to work out. They will get tired quickly, find it difficult to breathe, etc. Hitting the gym in this state can make their immunity go for a toss, making them more vulnerable to other diseases,” he explains.
“Going to the gym might also increase the number of active cases of covid-19 and that’s why it is not the right move to make. If you get this virus, it can scar your heart and lungs for life, even after you’ve recovered. Which is why you need to avoid gyms right now,” he concludes.