Coronavirus and Training

Coronavirus and Training

Coronavirus and Training

Should you go to the gym? Should you avoid it? No one wants to put their training on hold, but when the entire world becomes consumed with the coronavirus outbreak, it’s hard not to question whether or not you should be getting under the barbell.

The World Health Organisation recently announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic. I am closely monitoring the outbreak from Australian Government Department of Health (www.health.gov.au) and World Health Organisation (www.who.it) and am implementing their recommendations to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, particularly to those who are more susceptible to contracting it.

In order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, we should all be practising good hygiene and social distancing. Now, this can be difficult if you find yourself training in an overcrowded commercial gym with Dirty Dan dropping his DNA all over the place. However, there are a few measures that you can put in place to reduce your risk of infection.

Practise good hygiene (which you all should be doing, COVID-19 pandemic or not): 

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or tissue.
  • Dispose of your tissues correctly.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.
  • Use alcohol-based sanitisers (if you can get your hands on some).
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces.
  • If you are unwell, avoid contact with other people. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

A note on face masks: face masks are not recommended for the general population. People who present symptoms and might be infected with COVID-19 are required to stay in isolation at home and should wear a surgical mask when in the same room as another person or visiting a medical facility, to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus. 

Practise social distancing:

  • Stay at home if you are unwell.
  • Avoid large public gatherings if they’re not essential.
  • Keep a 1.5 metre distance between yourself and other people when possible.
  • Minimise physical contact when possible. 

It’s important to know that COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, and as such, sweat alone cannot transmit it. So, how does it spread? It is spread through contaminated droplets by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands, surfaces or objects. The virus can live on metal, glass and plastic surfaces for up to nine days, which are all common surfaces found in gym environments.

What’s my take on it all? I don’t find the gym to be any more or less hazardous than other social settings we place ourselves in, particularly if the gym you’re attending has a capped number of visitors and is practising good hygiene for their members’ best interest. 

As you might be aware, I train my clients from a small, private studio in Pymble called Plexus Personal Training. We are not open to the public, and we never have more than a handful (meaning a maximum of 5) people in the studio at any given time. In addition to the above measures mentioned, we are also: 

  • Asking clients to bring a clean towel with them.
  • Washing our hands before and after each session (and asking our clients to do the same).
  • Disinfecting equipment between each client.
  • Asking clients to stay at home if they are feeling unwell.
  • Ensuring that our clients have not travelled within the past 14 days.

We are also asking that our clients to sing our own version of TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’ twice each time they wash their hands (guaranteed 20 seconds of scrubs):

“No, I don’t want corona, 
Corona is a virus that get no love from me.
Travelling ‘round the globe worldwide,
And I’m trying to subside,
From it contaminating me.”

It is inevitable that more people worldwide are going to contract COVID-19, and whether or not you decide to continue training is ultimately a personal choice. I believe that maintaining health, strength and fitness are very important and beneficial, and I personally will be continuing with my own training with the above risk mitigation measures in place.