While at-home workouts and virtual fitness classes continue to be an option, you might be feeling eager to get back to your local gym. If your facility is opening back up, these simple tips will help you stay safe while getting your sweat on. Which of these better choices will you incorporate into your workout routine?

Ask your gym staff about cleaning regiments

More than ever, it’s important that gyms are cleaned thoroughly and frequently. Before heading out for a workout, give your gym’s front desk a call. Ask what staff members are doing to keep the facility safe. Cleaning alone isn’t enough. The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association says that staff should be disinfecting equipment to kill germs and lower the risk of spreading infection. They also recommend gyms set up hand sanitizing stations and spread out equipment.

Wipe down equipment before and after use

While it’s important that your gym staff keeps the facility clean, you can take responsibility into your own hands by disinfecting any gym equipment before and after you use it. Pack a small bag of disinfectant wipes before heading out the door, and keep it close by when you leave the locker room, or use disinfectant spray provided by your facility. Don’t forget to wash your hands when you wrap up your workout! 

Maintain distance

Do your best to maintain distance from your fellow gym-goers. The Mayo Clinic recommends staying at least six feet apart. If you’re waiting for a machine, don’t crowd the person currently using it. Why not fill your water bottle or take a quick lap around the facility instead?

If you’re looking to use equipment in a particularly crowded area, it could be the perfect opportunity to head elsewhere and try something new. For example, if you typically run on a treadmill but find that using one would not allow you to social distance, try the StairMaster or elliptical machine. You’ll stay safe while spicing up your regimen! 

Avoid touching your face

It’s hard to fight our tendency to touch our face — especially when getting our sweat on. But keeping our hands off can help us avoid catching and spreading respiratory infections. Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth, and avoid wiping away sweat with your bare hands. Instead, bring a towel from home and keep it on hand for when your workout gets heated.

Plan your workout at an off-peak time

The less crowded your facility, the more likely you’ll be able to maintain an appropriate distance from others. Try to plan your workout accordingly, perhaps early in the morning or later in the evening. If you’re unsure of when might be the best time, give the front desk a call and see what your gym staff would recommend.