Double your social distancing at the gym, doctor recommends

Double your social distancing at the gym, doctor recommends

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Gyms are back open across North Carolina, under limited capacity, as part of Governor Roy Cooper’s Phase 2.5 plan of reopening the state.

Many wonder if it is safe to work out at a facility again.

Dr. Ryan Tighe of Novant Health Family Medicine Pine Forest said you should assess your personal health risk before going to the gym.

“I know people are itching to get back to the gym but we should also be thinking about how we can do this in a safe manner,” he said. “Some things that I think we still need to consider doing and I would recommend doing strongly is assessing your own risk before you going to the gym. So, basically are you someone that’s going to be likely to get COVID or likely to get severe illness from COVID, those who have lung disease, heart disease diabetes or are immune compromised, those types of people should probably reconsider going to the gym.”

He also said before you visit for your first workout, call the gym and ask questions.

“Make sure they are following the CDC guidelines as far as sanitizing before and after use of machines and making sure they are spacing out and roping off machines,” he said.

One of the ways COVID-19 is spread is through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.

That’s why Dr. Tighe also recommends that gym-goers double their social distancing while inside a facility.

“Six feet apart is recommended but even better to get 12 feet especially since when you’re exercising, we tend to breathe a little bit heavier,” said Dr. Tighe.

He also said that fitness buffs should try to keep their masks on while doing lighter activities but said to take it off when exerting yourself more (running on a treadmill) or anytime you have difficulty breathing.

More tips from Novant Health can be found here.

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