Working out during a pandemic

Header image for the article Working out during a pandemic Credit: ISTOCK

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, gyms and fitness centres were forced to close down to curb the spread of the virus.

People started working out from home, but many people felt isolated. Gyms had to wait to be reopened because the Ontario government wasn’t allowing them to open again until stage three was first introduced. On July 17, stage three of reopening the province came to the London region, making gyms open again, but with some changes.

Recently, I was able to get back to a gym, and while I’d much rather use the Wellness Centre gym on campus, it’s closed right now so I had to buy a gym package for the first time.

The gym I go to is Crunch Fitness. Its pricing model does a certain amount each month, like a phone bill. Usually, when you get a gym membership, you have to pay for it once every two weeks or every week, so it was nice that I would only need to pay once per month.

But working out before a pandemic and during a pandemic is obviously very different. First thing you should do is sanitize before you start working out. Then I usually start with some five to 10 minutes of cardio to get me going.

However, you’re supposed to also be six metres apart from everyone. How do they achieve it? Well, every second cardio machine needs to be closed and not available, insuring you are six meters apart from others while doing your cardio.

Now when it comes to lifting weights, oh boy is it messy. When your first walk into the gym, they will give you a spray bottle to sanitize all your workout equipment you use before and after your workout.

Whenever I did a workout, I would just spray the machine before and after to feel safe. But they recommend that you have a mask on while you’re working out. I don’t know about you, but I hate running or doing any physical activity with the plain surgical style masks. The masks made me feel like I couldn’t breathe properly while doing my workout. Thankfully, there are masks out there that can help you breathe a bit better while doing physical activity.

So why am I going back to the gym? Well, during COVID-19, while yes I did some at home workouts, those didn’t really help or improve my overall health. It felt like I was trapped inside my house and I caved in and wanted to eat junk food all day long like a kid, except I know that eating junk food as a full-time student probably isn’t the best for me.

But seriously, as a kid who always wanted to be somewhat active, I felt I needed to get back into a gym. Having to take these extra precautions and protecting myself from others and my family wasn’t that difficult. I know it can be scary for someone to workout in the first place, and with the pandemic it makes it even more challenging to feel safe at the gym. But I wanted to try it and it wasn’t so bad, it felt like were coming back into a new normal.

However, we all know that the normal life we once had a year ago won’t come soon, so every time I go to the gym, I remember that I need to protect myself.