5 Tips On Returning To The Gym During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic changed much for Americans across the country. Much remains unknown about the virus, from how its initial symptoms, to how it is spread. The lack of knowledge of COVID-19 is one reason why there was such a strong response to it within the States. Generally speaking, it is known that the virus can be spread through saliva and mucus, which is why there was a call for the wearing of face masks. Furthermore, the measure of social distancing was strongly implemented, calling for people to stay at least six feet apart from one another. This led to a number of states forcing non-essential businesses to close for weeks at a time, with some just beginning to reopen cautiously. This of course has led to mass furloughs and layoffs. However, it has also forced people to abandon some of their favorite activities, including going to the gym. This of course not only affected people’s ability to be fit and healthy, but to stay mentally well too. The gym is an amazing stress reliever for many, and being disconnected from it can be quite stressful. Therefore, many were excited about the idea of gyms reopening locally.

However, it’s not as simple as going back to the gym and returning to business as usual. Needless to say, even the cleanest gyms offer a risk of exposure to germs, and in turn exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Keep in mind that during the pandemic, it’s not only important to avoid contracting the virus, but also to avoid infection of any kind, as a lowered immune system or preexisting illness can heighten one’s risk of being severely affected by the virus. At the same time, it’s incredibly important for people to get back to their regular workout routines in order to stay healthy. After all, it’s a known fact that regular exercise has been shown to aid in treating cardiovascular issues, while also improving high blood pressure. Fortunately, there are opportunities for people who are not at high risk of catching COVID-19 to enjoy their gyms much like they did before, albeit with some changes to their approach to working out. With that being said, let’s look into the ways that gym-goers can return to their workout activities while limiting their exposure to germs and COVID-19.

1. Ask Questions

Just because gyms have been allowed to reopen in your area doesn’t mean that you must return to your usual gym. While your favorite gym may have been sparkling clean and ideal before the pandemic, standards for cleanliness have changed drastically since then. Technically, gyms should be under the watchful eye of authorities and keeping up with the health standards that they set. However, in some areas, it’s been difficult for the authorities to properly police businesses, and in others those standards may be more lax than your own. Everyone’s expectations of what is healthy during COVID-19 will vary from person to person. But you have the right to feel safe and healthy while at the gym, and you’re at no obligation to remain loyal to a gym that doesn’t handle those issues for you. Therefore, you should feel justified in asking questions and doing your research ahead of time. Don’t feel as if you’re wrong for calling up those managing your gym to ask your questions; whether or not you’ll take them at their word is up to you.

In general, it’s a good idea to have a list of questions that will help you assess your risk of exposure to germs and COVID-19 ahead of time. You may want to ask about how regularly professional cleaning services visit the gym, and for that matter whether or not professional cleaners are utilized at all. Discuss how regularly equipment is cleaned, whether or not the showers are in use in the locker room, and whether or not the gym has standards regarding who can and cannot work out. Some businesses have adopted the practice of taking people’s temperatures prior to admitting them; you may want to ask if your gym has this kind of requirement. Again, gyms will probably be required to follow certain guidelines either way. However, this does not mean that they will in practice. Therefore, if you notice that your gym isn’t following these practices, you may want to rethink going to that gym, and perhaps may want to visit competitors. Unless you live in an extremely rural area, you’ll probably have more than one gym to choose from; and otherwise, you can always work out at home or outdoors!

2. Maintain Social Distancing

Obviously, it may not be entirely possible for everyone to wear masks while working out. Furthermore, some people may be as concerned about their exposure to germs and the virus as you are. But it’s important for you to be responsible for your own social distancing, and to stay far apart from other people working out. This may mean restricting yourself and changing your approach to the gym. For example, you may want to visit your gym’s indoor pool as per usual, and in principle, there isn’t much evidence to indicate that going to the pool itself will expose you to the virus. However, if the pool is full of other gym visitors, the risk becomes much higher. Therefore, you may need to avoid that particular location, and any other that is particularly packed. Theoretically, the gym may be responsible for policing these numbers, but you will need to make the effort to distance yourself.

The same would go for when you’re working out. If your favorite pieces of gym equipment are not properly distanced from one another, you may have to choose something else, or only use that equipment when none of the other machines are being used. In fact, you may want to be even more distanced than you normally would while working out as opposed to simply going about your day. While you normally would distance yourself at least six feet apart from other gym visitors, when working out you may want to expand that distance to 12 feet apart. One reason why this is the case is that when working out, people are huffing and puffing and therefore more likely accidentally expel saliva. Furthermore, some research has indicated that the virus may very well be passed through breathing. For that matter, generally speaking, germs can easily be passed in the same manner. When working out in a more relaxed manner, you may also want to wear your mask. While it might be difficult to breathe easily through your mask while jogging, it’s often much easier to do so if you’re practicing yoga. Indeed, you may benefit from changing the types of exercise that you rely upon.

3. Keep An Eye On Air Flow

While it may be easy for you to assess whether or not your gym is taking care of its window cleaning, and ensuring that its equipment is kept spotless, airflow often doesn’t come to mind when people are inspecting their gyms. But it’s incredibly important, in a post-pandemic world, to ensure that any place in which you’re spending a lot of time has proper ventilation. A number of older gyms may not be well-ventilated, but changes can be made to ensure that they’re healthier. Not only will this ensure that people are less exposed to COVID-19; it will also cut down on their exposure to germs in general.

Why is this? Well, for one thing, more ventilation will ensure that if the virus does stay in the air, that air will be regularly circulated out. While it may seem that this isn’t overly necessary as long as the gym checks up on temperatures, some people are not noticeably symptomatic. Many of those who carry and can transmit COVID-19 are asymptomatic. This means that they can pass on the virus, but don’t show any symptoms themselves. When trying to cut down on their clients’ exposure to germs and the virus, it’s important that gyms take these asymptomatic carriers into mind, as well as the fact that the way through which the virus is transmitted remains ambiguous. This means that they must not only pay attention to air flow, but also the need to clean areas in which germs and allergens might clean. Gyms with rugs and carpets in certain areas should enlist carpet and area rug cleaning services to aid in these efforts, and ensure that any furniture they have in lounge areas is thoroughly and regularly cleaned.

4. Consider Gyms With Healthcare Services

Some gyms cater more to specific healthcare needs than others, and it’s possible that you may want to pivot to those types of gyms, as opposed to more mainstream chain gyms. Needless to say, gyms that offer healthcare services or rehabilitation services will limit their clients’ exposure to germs even more than regular gyms. While certainly, gyms that are connected to hospitals and rehabilitation centers offer healthcare services, these types of services are not limited to these types of high level facilities. A lot of health clubs also offer healthcare services, in part because health clubs are often made with the intent of creating spaces wherein people can not only lose weight but make lifestyle changes that will ultimately result in long-term healthy choices.

Of course, there are also medical fitness centers to consider as well. A medical fitness facility is not the same thing as a typical gym, and they have totally different ideas in mind compared to gyms and indeed health clubs. A medical fitness facility is not focused on your appearance or weight loss; unless of course there is a specific amount of weight that you need to lose in order to be physically healthy, which is not always the case. Having a certain body type does not correlate to your health. In a medical fitness facility, employees are qualified to teach clients strategies that will help them be healthy for the long term, not merely the short term. Medical fitness facilities keep on staff doctors, dietitians, and therapists. While clients do not need to see all of these employees, they are presented as options, offering specific services that people can take advantage of at different points in time. One reason why this type of facility might be more appropriate in a post COVID-19 world is that there are simply higher standards regards sanitation and cleanliness, cutting down on that exposure to germs and doctors on hand to make assessments of people might be ill.

5. If You’re At All Worried About Yourself, Don’t Go

Everyone is feeling mentally stressed about being unable to visit their favorite restaurants and bars. Being able to return to your gym routine may seem incredibly important in the moment. However, now is not a time in which people can really ignore necessary restrictions, and we must police ourselves if we cannot completely trust our public facilities to do it for us.

You should take your own temperature before going the gym, ideally after ensuring that you’ve been in a room temperature area for a while; sitting in hot tubs or taking a hot shower can potentially elevate your temperature temporarily. If you have a cough, even if you think it’s due to allergies or a cold, simply stay home. There’s a reason why quarantining is so important. It’s not just about cutting down our own exposure to germs and viruses. It’s about making sure that we do not expose vulnerable people to our germs.

As important as it is to go to the gym when it’s safe, the gym is not a necessary part of working out. People can work out in their home gyms, and they can also work out in the great outdoors. If you’re truly concerned about your exposure to germs and viruses, you may want to put off going back to the gym until a proper vaccine has been created and dispersed throughout the population.


Inside and Out: Your Best Home Gym Workout Exercises

Whether you want to rid yourself of the Quarantine Fifteen or a keep that New Year’s resolution, creating a home gym is one of the best ways to invest in your health. And you’ll be ahead of the crowd — the CDC reports that less than half of adult Americans meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic exercise.

First things first: always get a doctor’s okay before you start any sort of training. Weight lifting, even the lowest weights can elevate your blood pressure temporarily. It’s always a good idea to tell your doctor about the medications you’re taking as well as any changes to your health. Remind him of any medical conditions such as diabetes or high cholesterol and if you’ve had any surgeries. Even a procedure as simple as an outpatient hernia repair will have serious limitations on weight lifting.

The CDC may have a lot on its hands with Covid-19 but they haven’t backed off of their original recommendation to exercise regularly: every day for at least a half an hour. It sounds like a lot but your body will thank you by lowering blood pressure, improving your mood, and burning calories to shed those unwanted pounds.

You might think a leisurely stroll after dinner is plenty. But health experts recommend that you keep your heart rate at 70% of its maximum beat capacity while exercising. This will help you lose weight. To determine your max heart rate, subtract your age from 220.

Building a home gym

Home gyms should be a serious endeavor. So, start by doing an inventory of your home. You’ll need to select your gym area; this usually takes the form of a spare bedroom, space in your living room, or a part of the basement. Next, you’ll need to set up that space so you can work out safely and efficiently.

  • Good gym air. How’s your home’s ventilation? The room you’ll designate as a gym should have a good HVAC system. Unlike an ac window unit, an HVAC system controls the overall climate. It helps with airflow and air quality. Ask any HVAC services center, a decent HVAC system is becoming almost mandatory in number of new single-family dwellings.
  • Lights, action. If you have weights and other gym equipment, you’re going to need more than few well-placed lamps to perform an exercise correctly. A good electrical services provider can offer some suggestions for a well-lit space for a home gym. They can also take a look at your electrical box to see if your system is capable of installing an upgraded lighting system and/or if some of the wiring needs to be brought up to code.

  • Comfort where you are. Yes, you are going to sweat. So, make sure your air conditioning unit isn’t going to quit mid-workout. A local ac contractor can do an examination of your unit, check filters and coils and suggest tips on how to keep your home comfortable throughout. Hint: Clicking on your AC at lower than 60 degrees may damage the compressor.
  • Your decor. If you’re working out inside—are you inspired? There’s a good chance that your basement or that old living room wallcovering is in need of an update.
  • Scent diffusers. Home gyms allow you to control the aromas, lift your mood, and cover up body odor. Certain diffusers provide hours of calming or invigorating scent (depending on the essential oils). Some electric diffusers may have Bluetooth connectivity or remote control so you don’t have to interrupt your workout to turn it on or off.
  • Gym down under. Are you working out in your basement, if so, are look into the mold situation as basements are typically more humid and damper than the rest of your home. And what about ventilation? You might be in the market for new basement hopper windows.
  • Monitors. As part of your home security, you’ll need monitors to check on the kids, dog, or cat to ensure they’re safe and under control. Some systems are able to connect to your technology that already exists in your home so no matter what you’re doing, you can see or hear the kids fighting over the Xbox.
  • Home audio system. There are many options wireless connectivity in a that makes it easier to listen CDs, radio, or stream your favorite music. Small wireless or Bluetooth speakers are perfect for more modest spaces.
  • Security. Now that you’ve built a great gym, protect it. A decent security system that includes motion detectors and locks on windows, doors, and garage doors. On average garage doors will last about 8-12 years. It may be time to get a garage door replacement. Garage door installation may run about $700-$1,000.

Taking it outside

There’s going to come a time when you’ll want to inject fresh air and sunshine into your workout. Summer and fall weather will entice even the hardcore gym rats to head outside. You don’t need to head to a park to get a good workout. Tame the wilderness in your backyard and watch it became an outdoor gym—with a great view. Skin tip: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen on cloudy days. UVA rays can damage your skin through clouds, smog or glass.

Best thing for any gym is solid flooring. Will your back yard be able to support a good workout or will you be tripping over tree roots? Local tree service companies can often provide free estimates should your need to take down a tree. They can also recommend what to plant if your dreaming of a shady cool down spot.

Don’t walk in circles around your backyard perimeter. You might as well go back to the gym. A varied landscape with raised beds, maybe a pond or other features can keep your mind off your grueling workout.

A decent backyard landscaping service can help create a blueprint for your own personal walking or jogging path. By adding flowers, shrubs, and other features your workouts will be the best part of your day.

Basic equipment for your home gym

Consider the following when you create your list of equipment must-haves in your home gym. The will cover most, if not all your home gym workout exercises:

  • Free weights
  • Kettle bells
  • Weight bench with barbell supports
  • Home gym systems (weights and pulleys)
  • Padded gym mat flooring
  • Mirror
  • Treadmill, rower, stair climber

It’s the little things…

It’s nice to workout at home because you don’t have to worry about bed hair or bad breath. Still, it’s important to treat your home gym, like a real gym. Does your home gym bag have:

Trainers? A good pair of workout or training footwear. Walking shoes are specifically cushioned to absorb the shock of impact from walking jogging or running. Good shoes stabilize ankles which in turn support knees and hips.

Water bottle? The trend is moving away from light with plastic bottles but to rubbed encased glass or metal containers. They last longer and don’t break down plastic into you drinking water.

Support bra? Support can come in all sizes. A decent sports bra will be constructed of light synthetic fabric, wick away sweat, and won’t squash your breasts.

Exercise wear? Toss the old cotton T-shirt and grab a few lightweight tights and tees. Currently trending are sports fabrics that are specifically created with breathable, stretchy synthetic knits that move with you and have the ability to wick away moisture. Sure it’s just home gym workout exercises, but you can still look amazing.

Yoga mat? Thin foam mats that can cushion your bony body parts from hard flooring.

Music? As simple as headphones and your iPhone. Science backs up the tunes. Listening to invigorating music before your workout actually increases your breathing and heart rate before you even take a step or lift a barbell.

Home gym workout exercises

Most exercises or home gym workouts are divided into two types aerobic (walking, running, cycling) and non-aerobic (weight lifting, sprinting). Best to combine the two together and make sure you’re doing both types every day.

Aerobic, meaning with oxygen, will be based on any exercise that keeps your body requiring oxygen on a sustained level. The exercise will move your body, utilizing your larger muscles of the lower body.
Anaerobic, without oxygen exercise, is a high-intensity type movement. Think of weight lifting. The body is stationary and the movement is limited: it’s a great workout and you really will find yourself panting.

Weight lifting, also known as resistance training, is a great way to lose weight and build muscle. When muscles are challenged, they use up more energy. Muscles tear down and build up with regular and increased poundage or repetitions. You scale up through the number of times you repeat a movement. You can either increase or decrease the number of times you do one move — take bicep curls — one of the most basic movements. You hold a weight (dumbbell) in your hand and bend your arm at your elbow.

Don’t forget the importance of warming up. Even your home gym workout exercises require careful warm ups. Stretching – there’s a debate about when to stretch. Before or after a warm up. Stretching is always good after a workout as the muscles are warm and more easily lengthened.

Cooldowns are just as important. The end of your workout should be slow and steady. The intensity of your workout will decrease. Heart rate should also decrease. The goal is that you don’t come to a complete stop. It’s a gradually lessening of effort. The best thing to do is shoot for 30 minutes of true exercise but then use the warm ups and cool downs are added to the top and bottom of your session. For example, if you are exercise for 30 minutes, you’d add a five-minute warm up at the beginning of your walk and then add a three to five-minute cool down.

Stretches include movements or postures that elongate the muscles. They also prevent cramps. They should be held for 10 seconds in this period of exercise. Add stretches that target the muscles that were just used. Larger leg muscles should always be stretched or if used, stretch arms across your upper body post-workout.

Finally, don’t forget to breathe. Even your home gym workout exercises will require attention to your breathing. Before and after each workout, perform three, large inhale-exhale arm raises. Raise arms and inhale on the way up and then exhale swinging arms down. Repeat three times.

Gym dos

Do carve out exercise time. Prioritizing your workout time — making it first on your daily agenda — will guarantee that it will get done. Home gym workout exercises should be treated like gold.

Do tell people. Tell people that your health matters. Your workouts come first, because your health comes first. Ask anyone who’s had a heart attack; they regret dismissing exercise. If a colleague or friend demands your time, ask them to join you.

Do set goals. Exercise is foundational. That means that once you set a level of fitness you can build on it. When you get better at your home gym workout exercises, you’ll see results.

Do use your five senses. Items that enhance your senses can enhance your workout. Music, scents, and visual aids can help your workout sessions become less of a chore and more of a pleasure.

Do challenge yourself. If you’ve never cycled before, go for it. Or try swimming—one of the best exercises for joints. Thought of Pilates or power workouts? Now’s the time to get outside your comfort zone.

Do it for fun. Studies indicated that regular exercise can actually improve your mood. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins act like morphine and reduce your pain sensation. Even if you’re in a bad mood going into a workout, there’s a good chance you’ll come out of it feeling much better.

Gym don’ts

There are also common gym don’ts do consider. For example, don’t hold your breath when you lift weights. Breathe through each exertion.

Don’t think heavier is better. Lifting too heavy weights can tear tendons and ligaments. It may also be harder on your heart.

Don’t rush. Proper form is the ultimate goal of each repetition. Going too fast, or rushing through your workout, can cause injuries.

Don’t be afraid to peek. Looking at a mirror, doesn’t make you narcissistic. Checking your form is essential for home gym workout exercises, especially when there isn’t a personal trainer nearby.

Don’t make excuses. There’s always going to be a hurdle to overcome. Think it through, ask or help and get moving.

Don’t give up. Even if you miss a day, don’t worry. Everyone has a bad day; you get sick or have to care for a sick baby/puppy/spouse/parent. Just get back to your home gym workout exercises as soon as you can.

Absolutely celebrate the small victories of your home gym workout exercises. Lose that baby fat? Excellent. Bench press another ten pounds? Awesome. Move to the next level on your climber? Yes! Treat yourself with something special and exercise-related, like a new pair of running shoes or shorts. Something simple that will keep you focused on your next goal.

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Are Nursing Homes As Dull As They’re Portrayed On TV? Breaking Down Misconceptions In 2019

The nursing home is a term rife with misconceptions.

Some people today believe it to be a form of abstract punishment, sending off the elderly in a single file line to a dull, drab place. Others fear nursing homes are poorly staffed medical facilities that isolated their loved ones for an indefinite period of time. When you have a loved one starting to get on in their years, the last thing you need are more misconceptions. Assisted living homes are composed of warm, loving communities filled with the resources needed for our elderly population to live a healthy life. Before you sit down and have an important conversation with your family about the possibility of moving to one…

…let’s keep looking at common falsehoods about nursing homes and get you closer to the facts.

Nursing Homes Are Boring, Lifeless Places

Watch any movie or show and you’ll see this stereotype perpetuated in real time. The common mainstream idea of the assis


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