As coronavirus cases go up in the U.S., so does anxiety related to the spread of the illness. That has people worried about something that’s usually associated with health and wellness: the gym. Some fear this communal space seems like a breeding ground for germs, but is it safe to hit the gym during the coronavirus outbreak?
According toDr. Paul Sax,medical director of the division of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, gym-goers don’t need to worry. “The gym is not a place that’s necessarily riskier than other communal areas,” he explains. “I wouldn’t say there’s anything particular about people sweating that makes them more contagious.”
For one thing, we’re less likely to get the illness from a contaminated surface. The CDCsays, “Transmission of coronavirus occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through contact with contaminated surfaces.” Plus, gyms already regularly disinfect their facilities and encourage members to wipe down equipment and many are ramping up that practice now. And washing your hands after using shared equipment or being in a crowded space can also reduce your risk for getting sick. So, Sax says, the only time you should definitely skip the gym is if you ARE sick.