May 15 marked the reopening date for gyms in Gallatin County. Local gym owners and their staff have been working to comply with Governor Bullock’s Phase 1 directive. Under these guidelines, gyms will have to adhere to strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols. The following is a summary of those requirements, a few ideas on what to expect when and if you return to the gym, and additional ways to keep yourself safe:
- Gyms will be operating at half their normal capacity. You can help gyms accomplish this by avoiding peak busy hours. Try to plan your workouts when you know there will be fewer people in the building.
- Maintain social distancing. Even at half capacity, it will be challenging to maintain 6 feet of distance between individuals. Be aware of not congregating in exercise areas as well as in locker rooms.
- Hand sanitizer must be available and frequent sanitizing of shared common surfaces is required. The experts agree that frequent hand washing and disinfecting of surfaces you touch is essential. Wash your hands when you get to the gym and again before you leave, and disinfect pieces of equipment before and after you use it. Bring your own water bottle and avoid drinking fountains. Leave a dedicated towel on your shoulder to wipe your sweat and keep your hands off your face.
- Group classes may be offered only outdoors limited to 10 participants and maintaining 6 feet of distance. If you choose to attend these classes, help the instructor out by observing this requirement strictly.
- Face coverings should be worn by all staff, and guests are encouraged to wear them when possible. Some gyms may require all members to wear face coverings and if yours doesn’t, consider the gym as a busy public place in making this decision. Face coverings are going to be the least comfortable and less effective when doing cardio or intense exercise so contemplate taking these workouts outdoors.
- Please stay home when you’re not feeling well.
The health and fitness industry is passionate about helping you obtain the benefits of exercise, especially during this challenging stage of re-entry. We understand that not having your normal workouts, as well as missing your connection to friends in the fitness community, has been an additional stressor. Help us in a successful reopening of our local fitness facilities by observing the Phase I recommendations.