The meaning of gym safety has evolved. Because of the coronavirus, the importance of healthy and sanitary behavior has been heightened — not just on the part of the Team Members, but gym-goers as well.
It’s one reason we updated our code of conduct for company-owned gyms, and it’s why everyone should consider their role in creating a safe gym culture. Call it being a good gym citizen or simply treating others with respect, but the more we give, the more we get.
Here are six new rules for being a good gym citizen and staying safe at the gym:
1. Don’t go to the gym if you’re feeling sick.
We know you want to get your workout in. We want that too. But if you’re coughing or have a fever, we want you to wait. Stay home. See a doctor. Feel better. Come back to the gym when you’re ready and help keep infections down.
2. Keep your distance.
Working out the right way will make you sweat and breathe hard. That’s why it’s important to keep at least 6 feet away in order to not breathe on your neighbors. Some states are minimizing occupancy in order to promote distancing; other states are requiring more distance. Know the rules and follow them so everyone feels comfortable.
3. Check your body contact.
Be mindful of everyone’s personal space. Instead of giving high-fives and fist bumps, use words of encouragement and avoid touching each other.
4. Read the signs. Follow them.
You know the section of the gym with the “closed” sign? Or the machine that is marked for being out of use for physical distancing? Those messages are for everyone — including you. The gym staff is working hard to keep things clean and usable. Let’s follow directions so we can all benefit.
5. Clean your equipment.
You know what feels good? Coming to a machine that’s clean and ready to use. Take a minute to wipe down your equipment every time you finish. Throw your trash away in designated areas. Put things back where you found them. And the next time someone comes to the machine, they’ll feel good too.
6. Be patient. We’re in this together.
Many gyms have introduced limited hours or special cleaning breaks. Any inconveniences with these changes aren’t personal — gyms are trying to keep all their members safe and allow ample time for cleaning and restocking of supplies while giving access to as many members as possible. So let’s all take a deep breath, be patient and come back stronger together.