The fitness industry has been decimated by the recent outbreak of the coronavirus. Social distancing has left Spin classes empty, cross fit circuits are like ghost towns, and New Years resolutions to work out more have been stymied due to the fears of contracting the virus from fellow gym-goers. Despite this widespread virus being momentarily incurable, the vast majority wonder if it is safe to go to the gym and have been extra cautious with touching surfaces and fitness equipment.
According to the CDC, it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Many gyms in the country have adjusted to the unfortunate circumstances by taking the necessary measures to ease the fear and anxiety of their members and guests.
Cleaning Surfaces That Have Possibly Been Contaminated in The Gym:
The CDC also provides detailed instructions on how to clean surfaces to avoid the spread of disease.
If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. Common areas in fitness facilities should be constantly sanitized.
For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective for frequently cleaning gym equipment and high traffic areas.
The CDC recommends:
Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser as the result can be toxic or otherwise dangerous. Unexpired household bleach is believed to be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
For gym owners these precautions for the custodians should be not overlooked:
Your gym’s cleaning staff should wear disposable gloves and gowns for all tasks in the cleaning process, including handling trash.
Gloves and gowns should be compatible with the disinfectant products being used.
Additional caution might be required based on the cleaning/disinfectant products being used and whether there is a risk of splash.
Gloves and gowns should be removed carefully to avoid contamination of the wearer and the surrounding area. Be sure to clean your hands after removing gloves.
Gloves should be removed after cleaning a room or area occupied by ill persons. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.
Cleaning staff should immediately report breaches (e.g., tear in gloves) or any other potential exposures to their supervisor.
Cleaning staff and others should clean hands often, including immediately after removing gloves and after contact with an ill person, by washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
Follow normal preventive actions while at work, including cleaning hands and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
There should be an elevated sense of gym etiquette among people during this pandemic:
- Shielding one’s mouth and nose while coughing, or sneezing.
- Washing your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds after using the restroom.
- Being courteous and wiping down equipment when finished training.
The most touched objects in gyms across the nation are treadmills, dumbbells, and machines. I bet that you didn’t know that your average gym is one of the filthiest places you come in contact with many times during the week, according to fitness website FitRated. Free weights are contaminated with up to 362 times more bacteria than a toilet seat, and a treadmill holds 74 times more bacteria than the average washroom faucet, which came as a disturbing shock to me. For the past few weeks since concern for the virus has been surging, I have been extra mindful about touching everyday items that many other people have touched or been in contact with. With average gyms made up of 100s to sometimes 1000s of members, and with 38% of people in a survey actually using the weights, the elevated risk of catching the virus by touching these weights creates a problem.
Personally, bodybuilding and weightlifting is a lifestyle for me. I would have to be dragged kicking and screaming before I would just call it quits and stop doing what I truly love. My gym has been proactive on possible health risks and I have seen that they have doubled down on hand sanitizer stations and custodial staff to adjust to this problematic situation. I still do not feel 100% comfortable coming into contact with the equipment, and local stores are constantly sold out of hand sanitizer bottles and latex gloves, meaning that it’s not realistic to be soaking my hands in sanitizer or wearing a pair of latex surgical gloves during my workout routine which could easily rip anyways. They say that the average person subconsciously touches their face 16 times every hour, I usually wipe the sweat off my face and forehead during intense workouts without thinking twice about it. Many health professionals advise to avoid touching your own face because it is likely if your hands come in contact with microscopic droplets of the virus then your eyes, mouth, and nose become the main gateway to let the virus in.
After being plagued with this dilemma I looked for a solution. I found a scientifically proven study that states that copper ions kill dangerous viruses by destroying their genetic material. The virus can be destroyed by coming into contact with copper because it has strong microbial properties. Copper is one of the essential trace elements that plays a role in our health, we actually require 1.2 milligrams of copper for our cellular enzymes to distribute energy in our body. There are actually studies that show wearing copper has more collateral health benefits aside from obliterating bacteria and viruses.
- Skin Health
- Improved Brain Function
- Preventing Bone Loss
- Reducing Cholesterol
- Improved Blood Circulation
- Improved Digestion
- Weight Loss
There are a myriad of ways to implement copper into your life and diet, such as through consuming supplements, wearing jewelry, and using copper utensils. Additionally, some traces of copper is found in our food and beverage products. Additionally, wearable copper infused gloves will do the trick and get you back into the weight room with added peace of mind.
When shopping for copper coronavirus-resistant gloves, look for gloves that completely cover your finger tips as they provide the best protection. Make sure that they fit snug and have grips on them facing the correct way because when handling dumbbells and weights you will need a firm grip that does not slip.
Act now before this trend becomes mainstream and copper gloves become harder to find than a unicorn. After all, we’ve all witnessed the shopping madness going on with basic necessities like toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Even though this method is not 100% guaranteed to save you from infection, I feel that it is a crucial step to avoiding the virus and not missing a beat in the gym.