GYMS will be officially reopening on July 25 four months after closing their doors because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Along with swimming pools, gyms are one of the final venues to reopen following the Government’s plans to curb the spread of the virus.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
But working out won’t be the same when gyms do reopen.
Each fitness centre will have slightly different measures in place, so do check what your local gym has planned.
While workers will be cleaning equipment throughout the day, some gyms will be asking its members to also sanitise gear after using it.
PureGym is one of the fitness chains that has asked its members to do just that.
It has now released guidance about how to clean cardio machines and weights after using them.
It includes focus on cleaning the main touch points, such as handles, seats and buttons you press for the machines.
You’ll also be asked to wait until the equipment is fully dry before using it.
How do I clean a cardio machine?
- Clean machines before and after use; this will ensure your exercise area is ready for you before you start and also clean for whoever comes next.
- Give the machines a clean down with either a folded paper towel, spritzed at least twice with cleaning spray, or with sanitising wipes. Both will be provided in PureGyms. Don’t spray cleaning fluid directly onto the machinery as it could push anything sitting on the surface into the air.
- Be careful around screens and electrics – while it’s important to wipe these down if you’re touching them, don’t let screens get too damp.
- Focus your cleaning on the main touch points of equipment including any handles, seats, adjustment points and buttons you may press.
- Be sure to clean under your phone and water bottle – if you rested any of your own belongings on the equipment, or the water bottle holder, make sure to give these areas a wipe over too.
- Wait a few seconds after wiping down. The cleaning liquid will need a few moments to work and dry, so wait 20 to 30 seconds before using so the surfaces aren’t slippery for use.
- Once you’ve finished, give the parts of the equipment directly in front of you a wipe down – you’ll have been breathing over these areas during your workout.
- Throw away the cloths and wipes in the bins provided – don’t leave any used tissues on the gym floor or on the equipment.
- Try not to touch the equipment after you have finished your workout and have cleaned the equipment.
Stephen Rowe, chief marketing officer at PureGym, said: “We’ve been incredibly busy in the past few months redefining our cleaning and safety standards so that our members can return to the gym knowing that they can work out as safely as possible.
“We were excited to hear the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, say on LBC Radio that he expects gyms to reopen in a couple of weeks’ time.
“Many of our members have really missed the gym, and we’re looking forward to welcoming them back to PureGym as soon as we’re allowed to do so.”
PureGym added it will be changing the layout of their gyms and equipment to allow for social distancing.
There will be a deep clean each night.
Some of its gyms will also be capped, meaning there will be a limit on the number of members in the gym at any one time.
As part of measures to protect people, other chains have installed sneeze screens around gym equipment.
How do I clean free weights?
- Clean the equipment before and after using – hopefully whoever used it before you will have done the same, but it’s still important all gym-goers clean the kit before use as a precaution.
- Don’t use a gym or sweat towel to wipe down your free weights. In fact, PureGym are requesting you don’t bring a sweat towel to the gym at all to limit the spread of germs brought in from outside the gym.
- Similarly to when cleaning cardio machines – never spray disinfectant straight onto the equipment. Instead, spray twice onto a folded paper towel and use this to wipe over the entire surface area of the equipment
- Be thorough and make sure to wipe all different parts of the equipment, not just the area you’ve been holding. If the weighted ends are fixed, make sure these have been carefully cleaned all over, including any ridges or indents.
- If you’re using a barbell with weighted plates, clean not just the bar, but also any weighted plates you have used or will be using. It’s crucial that you wipe over the entirety of the bar and pay particular attention to the textured area where your hands will be gripping on.
- If the paper towel or wipe you’re using begins to dry out while you’re cleaning a piece of kit, get another, or spray more disinfectant on the paper to finish up.
- Leave 20 – 30 seconds after wiping the weights equipment before using it, to allow the disinfectant time to work and dry.
- Always dispose of used wipes and paper towels in a bin.
The idea is that the screens act as a safety barrier between gym-goers.
For gyms that don’t have screens, you may find some equipment has been turned off or moved apart.
Meanwhile, fitness fantastics are also being asked to arrive in their workout gear as opposed to using the changing rooms.
They may also have their temperatures checked when arriving to work out.
We’ve been given a sneak preview of what gyms will look like when they reopen.
The Sun has also taken a look at how spas will look post-lockdown, including no facials and temperature checks.
We have also rounded up all the changes you’ll find when you next visit the cinema, including fewer seats and no pick and mix.
Plus, here are all the changes you can expect when you visit an Intu shopping centre now “non-essential” stores are open.