Moving Well


Incorporating these methods when working out at the gym can help you get comfortable with “the new normal” gym etiquette, as you make the necessary adjustments to life after the community quarantine period smoothly.

16 Jun 2020
As we begin to ease into life after the Community Quarantine (CQ) period, a directive issued by the Philippine government to “flatten the curve” and curb the spread of COVID-19, fitness enthusiasts may be hesitant to return to their favourite gyms immediately. It is completely normal to fear falling ill with this deadly respiratory disease, but here are a few ways to acclimate yourself to “the new normal” when it comes to working out at the gym.

Make Social Distancing a Norm

One of the best ways to practice social distancing at the gym would be to pre-book floor space before visiting. For the safety and well-being of club members, Fitness First has implemented a booking system through its new mobile application.

Early booking of your gym access can help the club manage the number of members entering the gym at any one time, while taking into consideration the social distancing guidelines advised by the Department of Health. To pre-book gym access, club members are required to download the new Fitness First mobile application and book their slots online.

Avoid The Gym if You Are Feeling Sick

The common belief before COVID-19 was that it was alright to exercise even if you were suffering from a mild sore throat, cold or stuffy nose3. Seeing as COVID-19 bears these and other symptoms such as a dry cough and fever, it is advisable for you to stay at home instead.

In fact, most publicly visited places, including gyms, have implemented temperature checks at all points of entry and exit to prevent sick individuals from entering their premises4. If you are experiencing any of the mentioned symptoms, it would be advisable to avoid the gym completely and seek medical aid instead. This will help you do your part in preventing a community spread of the illness and seek immediate treatment swiftly.

Disinfect Gym Equipment and Free Weights

Influenza and viruses can be kept at bay via frequent cleaning using disinfecting agents. To ensure that club members can work out in a properly sanitised space, Fitness First has recently taken the added measure of increasing the frequency in which the club wipes down all of its equipment. Disinfectant sprays and wipes are also readily available for use by club members during their workout. To ensure that the gym is a safe space for all, club members should also do their part by wiping down the gym equipment before and after each use. Members are also encouraged to wipe off their sweat before and after using any gym equipment with their own gym towel.

If you intend to bring along your own disinfecting spray or wipes, do ensure that the product you are looking to purchase contains a minimum of 60 percent alcohol or chlorine bleach2. Using wipes which are used for personal hygiene is discouraged. It is also recommended that the entire surface area of each equipment or weight be allowed anywhere between 30 seconds to 1 minute to air dry completely before use2.

Bring Your Own Gym Essentials

It is recommended that you bring your own essential items for every gym session. This includes a filled water bottle, towels and weight lifting gloves. It is also recommended that you also bring your own boxing gloves, hand wraps, yoga mats or hammocks. The primary reason for bringing your own filled water bottle is to avoid using the drinking fountain. Bacteria, germs and viruses can easily pass from the fountain faucet to your mouth5. If you must refill your bottle, do so at a standing water cooler but be sure to clean the lever or button by wiping it with a disinfectant spray or wipe first.

Also, do not forget to pack two towels for every gym session. One for wiping away sweat from your body, and the other for wiping down equipment before and after each use. The gym equipment will be frequently wiped down by the club to ensure the health and safety of club members. However, wiping down the equipment on your own can also give you an added sense of safety and comfort. It is also an act of kindness, as it gives the person using the equipment after you a sense of safety as well, regardless of whether they also wipe down the equipment or not.

“The new normal” may take some major adjustments. But if you take the necessary safety precautions, returning to the gym will not be a difficult thing to do. Stay, safe everybody.