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How to protect yourself if you decide to workout at a public gym

Gov. Ron Desantis announced on Friday that gyms can reopen Monday.
Credit: Pixabay

TAMPA, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis gave the green light on Friday for gyms to reopen on Monday, May 18.

Gym-goers have a lot to consider before they rush back to burn calories. 

Dr. John Morrison with AdventHealth suggests that the responsibility doesn't fall on gym owners alone, but on-gym goers as well, to ensure everyone is protected amid the outbreak. 

"If you go back to the gym, you have to obviously wash your hands after touching any equipment, you have to wipe down your equipment with proper solution. I'd hope most the gyms would have that and to be safe I would travel with my own hand sanitizer," said Morrison. 

Morrison suggests that If you are at high risk, such as over the age of 65 or have a high-risk medical condition like diabetes or a weakened immune system, you should consider staying home to exercise, rather than putting yourself at risk by going to a gym facility. 

If you prefer group workouts, consider attending classes that are held outdoors or online for added safety. 

Should you wear rubber gloves? According to the CDC, coronavirus can stick to gloves just as it can stick to your fingers. If wearing gloves reminds you not to touch your face, then wearing them is a good idea. The virus spreads from person-to-person contact. For example, when someone breathes, sneezes or coughs the virus onto a surface, you could touch that surface, then touch your face, and the virus gains entry through your nose, mouth or eyes.

DeSantis implemented Phase One of reopening the economy on May 4; allowing restaurants and retail shops to open at 25 percent capacity. Gyms were listed as a Phase One business, under the White House re-opening guidelines. But DeSantis stated that "he wanted to wait and see what other states were doing" before he made a decision on gyms. 

Gym owners in Tampa Bay are eager to get back to business, with many making social distancing and sanitation a priority.  

Carrington Kilgroe opened SunState Yoga in St. Pete last year and since closing her doors has been able to offer free virtual yoga lessons through the studio's Facebook page. 

Credit: SunState Yoga Facebook

"People have responded so well to the content and some are looking to join the studio for the first time after discovering our videos online," said Kilgroe. 

When able to reopen, Kilgroe and her team of six yoga teachers will implement new day to day standard and practices to keep the team and members safe. 

"We are eliminating yoga mat rentals, it's just not safe to share equipment right now. We have taped off the studio completely so everyone is properly distanced and we will have smaller class sizes for the time being." said Kilgroe. 

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