The novel coronavirus has already changed the way we exercise. From gyms and fitness centres, we have moved to online sessions and home workouts.
As gyms throughout the country closed in adherence to the lockdown guidelines, gym chains and individual instructors found an alternate route to get people to exercise. Many of them took to online classes to ensure that people keep to their fitness routine and maintain social distancing while at it.
While the decision to move online was surely a good move, many fitness aficionados, are already missing their gymnasiums and fitness clubs. “I had developed a good habit of going to Cult.Fit 5 days a week. Working out at the fitness centre is a different experience and is much better than exercising alone. So I certainly miss that” said Nikhil, who has been a regular at Cult for the past year now.
Many others are too feeling the detachment from their places of exercise. However, with the pandemic still in full flow and with no timeline on when public places will open fully, the opening up of gyms isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
Even when they do open, we are bound to see a new normal. The post-pandemic world is going to be one which will have social distancing and hygiene on high priority, and that may usher in a new normal for the fitness centres as well.
Here’s How Gyms May Look Like Post Lockdown
When the time comes for you to go back to the gym, you may be seeing an entirely different one to how you remembered it before. Social distancing will need to be adopted at public places and gyms, where space is often limited and equipment is often touched repeatedly will have to change the way they’re set up and function to ensure the safety of their customers.
The change may be evident from as soon as you enter the gym, as contactless check-ins may become the order of the day. Not only that, regular temperature checks at entry and hand sanitizers could also be made compulsory before entry into the gyms.
Another widespread change we could be seeing will be the emphasis on reducing physical contact at the gyms. For a place where people come to exercise in groups and instructors are expected to teach the correct posture to their customers, this is easier said than done. However, there are several ways how gymnasiums could adapt to this.
Reducing The Number Of People At The Gyms
This is something we will be seeing surely once the gyms do open up. Social distancing is here to stay for a long time now, and that could creep up into your workout as well. While group classes may still be on, you could see them take place at a reduced capacity, for example by allowing a maximum of 10 people per workout session.
Gyms will also be looking to embrace small group workouts instead of the larger fitness classes that were prevalent earlier, as smaller workout will help in minimising the risk of spreading the disease
Similarly, another way this could be done is by assigning people a pre-determined time slot for their exercise. By doing this, the gyms can ensure that not many people crowd out the gym, and allow people to exercise while practicing social distancing.
Greater Focus on Hygiene And Sanitation
Another area that could see change is the extent of the cleanliness of the fitness centres. The novel coronavirus has been known to survive on surfaces and even spread via air droplets. To counter that, the gyms will have to ensure proper sanitation and cleanliness of its premises. Not only this, since the same equipment is used by many people, but periodic cleaning of your dumbbells and elliptical machines may also become a common sight at the post lockdown gyms.
Gyms may resort to deep cleaning their studios from top to bottom every week. Not only that heightened attention to all high contact surfaces such as bikes, weights and doorknobs may also be given by regularly disinfecting them.
Not only that, you and the people around you will also be expected to maintain proper hygiene at the post lockdown gyms. Visitors could be asked to wipe their stations before and after sessions to ensure cleanliness. Trainers and gym staff wearing masks and gloves could be a common sight as well.
Your Gym May Look Different As Well
Even though gyms may open, they may not look the same. The way the machines will be set up will surely change since adequate distance will have to maintained between them.
Fitness machines inside the gym could be spaced between 6 to 8 feet apart for social distance. Not only that you may also see every other cardio machine being closed to create additional space between the customers.
It may also be a time to say goodbye to the gym amenities you’ve become used to. With enhanced focused on sanitation and concern towards maintain clear premises, gyms may also look to close up the spa, shower and sauna services to help maintain social distancing and hygiene.
As the situation develops we may see gyms incorporating several other changes as well to cope with post lockdown world. Many may come up with safety guidelines and certifications to ensure safety. While there’s no timeline on when we’ll actually be able to step into a gym, it’s for sure going to be a different sight than how we’ve remembered it to be.