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  • James Park, PT, DPT

At Long Last, the Gym is Back!

For those of us in NJ, we received the long-awaited news that gyms can finally re-open for indoor use starting today, September 1, 2020! After nearly 6 months of trying to stay active at home through virtual bodyweight workouts, your home gym with price-gouged equipment, and accomplishing every outdoor home project, people are more than excited to be able to get back to working out! Given this extended layoff from normal gym activities, it is important to keep in several things in mind to avoid injury in your first week back.

Tip 1: Ease into It

While there are some people who were able to maintain the same level of exercise intensity during their time at home, it is important to understand that some level of deconditioning has occurred. Start off at 25-50% of the normal amount of exercises that you perform at the gym to reduce the risk of injury or significant post-workout soreness.

Tip 2: Wipe Everything Down Before and After

The extra signage around your gym will remind you to constantly wipe equipment and benches down. Outside of the general hygiene of avoiding shared sweat between other gym goers, we want to mindful of doing our part to minimize the risk of spread of Covid-19 via surface contamination.

Tip 3: Don't Forget Your Mask

The state and gym requirement is for everyone to wear a mask when exercising indoors to minimize the spread of Covid-19 through your heavy breathing. Be mindful that it is slightly harder to breathe through a mask, so exercising with the mask will be more challenging.

However, be more than assured that you are not inhaling your carbon dioxide or not getting enough oxygen because of the mask! An O2 molecule is 0.299 nm and CO2 molecule is 0.33nm in diameter. When we speak we produce droplets between 20 and 2000µm (micrometers) in diameter. Note that a micrometer is a thousand times larger than a nanometer!

Tip 4: Avoid Touching Your Face

Use a towel or your forearm to wipe off any sweat from your face. You want to continue to maintain good hygiene habits when exercising.

Tip 5: Social Distance When Working Out

Be mindful and courteous to other gym members, and exercise while maintaining a 6-foot distance between you and others! Many gyms have placed markers or tape on the floor to create these spaces for members.

Tip 6: Stay Home if You're Not Feeling Well

If you’re coughing, have an upset stomach, runny nose or fever, or generally aren't feeling well, SKIP THE GYM. Let your body fully recover and avoid getting others sick. It’s an important habit to always practice moving forward to help limit the spread of viruses in general.

If you feel the need to move, then get some fresh air and walk outdoors!

Not sure what’s best for you? Feel free to reach out to us at (201) 429-3996 or with any questions!


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