Michigan gyms set to reopen Wednesday -- How to stay safe while working out

Governor relaxes coronavirus restrictions

Ways to protect yourself from the virus

DETROIT – Gyms and pools in Michigan are allowed to reopen to the public starting Sept. 9.

But before you head back to your favorite fitness center, don’t let your guard down. There are certain factors you need to consider to reduce the risk for yourself and others.

Sept. 4, 2020: Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 105,377; Death toll now at 6,526

The more space you can put between yourself and others, the better.

Right now, it’s believed the primary route of COVID-19 spread is through the air, so being in an enclosed space with many people breathing heavily is less than ideal.

Distance from others is still your friend. Mask use -- even though it’s more uncomfortable when exercising -- is still your friend. Ventilation bringing in clean air from the outside and keeping air circulating is really important since breathing harder may reduce the effectiveness of masks. Cleaning surfaces is important since aerosolized droplets can spread the virus, but it’s not as important as other measures -- especially if you don’t touch your face.

For that reason, it’s not necessary to wear gloves to work-out. Many gyms might encourage employees or guests to wear gloves, but Local 4′s Dr. Frank McGeorge said he doesn’t personally feel that gloves offer much of a benefit and may cause people to wash their hands or use sanitizer less often.

Try to go to the gym when the fewest number of people are there, and if part of your workout can be done outside, do it outside.

Finally, don’t overdo it. If you haven’t been to the gym since they closed, take it easy at first in case you’re not in the shape you think you’re in.

Some people are concerned their mask will trap too much carbon dioxide while working out, but there’s no evidence that’s true -- oxygen and carbon dioxide can move freely in and out of the mask, even during exercise.

About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.