What to Know Before Going Back to the Gym

It has been a very long two months since fitness centers in Salem closed due to COVID-19. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Marion County is officially in Phase One of reopening. If you have taken two months of “rest days” and “cheat meals,” you can now finally get back to your beloved gym.

But hold your horses. Things won’t be returning to how they were anytime soon. As with all industries, the State of Oregon, along with the Oregon Health Authority, has issued several guidelines for fitness centers to reopen. 

Here are a few essential things to keep in mind before you return:

EXPECT TIME RESTRICTIONS FOR CLEANING:

Expect your hours in the gym to be limited. Gyms have to allocate hours to disinfect and thoroughly clean all equipment. Some gyms are considering having members schedule appointments to workout. Others are carving out hourly breaks throughout the day. Some are reserving time for “vulnerable populations.”

LOCKER ROOM CHANGES:

Communal areas and amenities with limited space will be restricted due to social distancing. That means showers, saunas, and lockers are unavailable. It’s recommended that members come in workout attire.

CLASSES AND POOLS:

Many fitness centers are delaying the start of classes to determine how many people are allowed in each space and to guarantee they can stay six feet apart. Pools, hot tubs, saunas, and showers are closed during Phase One. Many gyms are considering outdoor classes if space and weather permits.

ABOUT MASKS: 

All staff members are required to wear masks. Many gyms will encourage you to wear masks but will leave that choice up to you. Some members will wear them and others will choose not to. Obviously, working out with masks, especially when running, is going to be difficult, but is not considered harmful for healthy people. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:

In order for gyms to stay open, please observe the social distancing guidelines as required, wash or sanitize your hands, and always clean your equipment before and after you use it.  

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