Women in masks do PilatesPhoto: alvarog1970 (Shutterstock)

Many gyms allow people to remove their masks while exercising, as if the coronavirus was politely refraining from infecting others while exercising. Of course it won’t. Even if it’s legal to exercise maskless where you are, it’s not a good idea.

The CDC recently highlighted some cases of super spreader events in gyms. At a gym in Chicago81 people were exposed to the coronavirus during class and 55 showed symptoms. The gym was two meters away, required masks on arrival, and tried temperature controls and symptom screening to rule out anyone who was sick.

But as we should all know by now, you can be contagious a day or so before your symptoms start. This allows a person to come to class without knowing they are sick and then complete their practice course without a mask. The CDC report also found that people sometimes showed up for class while waiting for test results. Unsurprisingly, this is all a great way to spread the virus.

We’ve seen this before. Notice the canadian bike studio that obeyed all the rulesincluding how the rules allowed maskless classes? Or the outbreak in Hawaii gyms Where weren’t masks required?

Illustration for article titled When Everyone Doesn't Mask In Your Gym Stay Home

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A room full of people who are difficult to breathe, with no masks or adequate ventilation, is a risky place during a coronavirus pandemic. For those who complain that it is annoying or even impossible to exercise with a mask, I say if you can’t do it with a mask, you shouldn’t do it indoors with other people.

Here’s what the CDC’s report on the Chicago gym says about making exercise safer.

To reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission in fitness facilities, Participants should wear a mask even during high-intensity activities ≥ 6 feet away. In addition, facilities should enforce physical distancing, improve ventilation, and encourage participants to isolate or obtain a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result after symptoms appear and quarantine after possible exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and wait for test results. If you train outdoors or virtually, the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission can be further reduced.

Unless your gym doesn’t require others to wear masks, the safest thing to do is just not to go. If you are taking the risk and still want to take part, avoid cardio classes where everyone is breathing heavily Minimize the time you spend in the building.

Illustration for article titled When Everyone Doesn't Mask In Your Gym Stay Home

We also have A round up of home exercise ideas. Watch a training video! Use one Group fitness app! To get Dumbbells or resistance bands! Cancel your membership and invest in a whole home gym! Go outside and go for a walk! And if you’ve already tried all of this, we have some ideas for you What to do if you are bored from your home workouts?.