New Year. New You. Thousands across the nation resolved to get fit in 2021 and burn off those extra pounds you may have accumulated in 2020. However, with COVID-19, the Flu, and the general dislike of other people's sweat, going to the gym at the start of 2021 can seem like playing a game of dodgeball.
If you can dodge virus particulates, you can dodge a ball.
I joined a local gym back in November after moving to Oklahoma. For the most part, everyone practiced social distancing and the facilities were so clean you could have eaten right off the equipment. Of course, you occasionally would get the inconsiderate individual who left a puddle of sweat on the stair climber, but those were far and few between.
When January hit, there was an influx of newcomers looking to either commit to their health...or get in a good Instagram photo op. And like many other regulars, I found myself trying to get in a good workout while dodging people like they are dodgeballs covered in the plague.
Stretch At Home
If your gym is like mine, it provides mats to comfortably do your warmup stretches on. Providing you live close to your gym, it may be more beneficial to stretch at home. By doing this, you avoid a popular gathering area where people are less likely to stay six feet apart from one another. Also, are you 100% sure the person before you sanitized the mat after they were done with it? Spending $10 on a mat for your home can help alleviate the January Rush headache.
How Big Is The Crowd?
Gyms like Planet Fitness provide a crowd meter built into their mobile app. By checking the meter before I head out, I can tell how crowded the gym is. With COVID-19, this kind of tool is almost a must-have. If your local gym doesn't have a feature like that, simply calling and asking how busy your gym is can be an excellent alternative.
Bring Your Own Water Bottle
Public drinking fountains can contain a lot of germs. To stay hydrated and avoid long lines, bringing your own water bottle can be a simple solution. Plus, insulated and stainless steel bottles can keep your water cold and refreshing.
There are thousands of people out there who sincerely want to make a commitment to their health. Be patient as they figure out how all the machines work and set up their own workout routines. By March, the gym will be back to normal and we can carry on until next January.