Covid19 updates

Going to the gym during the Covid19 outbreak?

Going to the gym during the Covid19 outbreak?

Should i be going to the gym?. Whilst we all try to be as fit and healthy as possible by going to local gyms. We look at the potential issues during the current outbreak of Coronavirus.

Although we are currently waiting on confirmation from the Government about the next phases of the containment of Coronavirus. It has been advised by Dr Norman Swan via Sky news that gym environments are a perfect environment for the disease as they are typically humid.

He also stated that despite there being no evidence of COVID-19 being spread through sweat. Transmission can occur if someone with the virus coughs or sneezes onto their hands and then touches surfaces such as gym equipment.

Dr Swan noted that gyms were among the “high prevalence areas” from some of the Chinese data on coronavirus. Speaking on the ABC’s Coronacast, he said: “Dampness is a bad thing for spreading germs. You’ve got these big blokes pumping away and you never know, one of them might be a super spreader.

Be Aware of other people

“It doesn’t mean you stop going to the gym, you’ve got to be super careful at the gym.”

Also worth noting is that Dr Jenna Macciochi, an immunologist at the University of Sussex, says: “It is still safe to go to the gym. But all the usual hygiene practices need to be followed vigilantly, especially cleaning down shared equipment. Gym goers should also remember that intense exercise without adequate recovery can be immune suppressive leaving you open to infection.

It’s not yet known exactly how coronavirus spreads. Dr Ed Wright, a senior lecturer in microbiology at the university, says: “The important thing to emphasise is that this is a virus that we’re learning more and more about as the outbreak develops and cases increase.

“What we know so far is that it’s transmitted via droplets. Which are released when an infected person coughs or sneezes which can contaminate surfaces. When someone comes along and picks those up on their hands they won’t be infected at that point because the virus can’t pass through the skin. The skin is a great barrier to infection as long as there are no breaks. It’s when they start to touch their face and the virus gets close to their mouth, nose or eyes that it can get to the respiratory tract where it will start replicating.

Being pro-active

“It’s therefore crucial to wash hands with soap before and after a gym class. Avoid touching the face during gym time. He says, then “there are no extra risks than other day-to-day activities. Such as going shopping at the supermarket or working in the office.”

Whilst we all should wipe down equipment will “very much help decontaminate the risk” Dr Wright says. Adding: “[Droplets that are] outside of a person will inactivate naturally anywhere from a few hours to a few days (depending on the surface). Either through exposure to the environment from UV light. Or by starting to dry up, so through either cleaning or natural process. There won’t be long-term implications or potential for infection.”

It’s also worth keeping distance between you and other gym-goers. If they’re showing signs of illness, though admittedly this is easier said than done in many fitness studio scenarios.

“Droplets range in size. The larger size are generally thought to fall to the floor. Within a couple of metres of somebody. So if you maintain that 2m perimeter from anyone that’s actively coughing and sneezing. You’re going to mitigate the majority of the risk”. Dr Wright says. “There is a chance that some of the smaller particles may reside in air for a little bit longer. But it’s still unclear how much and what risk that poses.”

Of course, the situation is evolving rapidly. It’s very possible that guidelines will be issued by the government in the coming days that affect whether or not to group train.

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