Coronavirus fitness: As gyms close, here’s how to stay healthy at home

With gyms off limits, there are a number of ways to stay fit while at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

With gyms off limits, there are a number of ways to stay fit while at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Getty

The federal government is yet to mandate the closure of gyms in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but many in Australia and around the world are already shutting their doors.

Last week, members of a Fitness First gym in Sydney’s George Street were told they may have been exposed to the coronavirus after an individual who had visited the club tested positive for COVID-19.

“Since being made aware of the individual’s visit, all equipment and surfaces they could have come into contact with were thoroughly disinfected with hospital-grade products, in addition to surrounding areas and equipment,” a Fitness First spokesperson told Yahoo News.

Is it safe to go to the gym during the pandemic?

The coronavirus is spread by droplets emitted from the mouth and nose of an infected person, and indirectly via contaminated hands and surfaces.

It has not been shown to spread through sweat, but can thrive in the humid environment of a public gym.

Highly contagious, the virus can land on or be transferred via touch to surfaces where it can live on for up to three days, unless the surfaces are properly disinfected.

On Sunday, Australia’s chief medical officer Brendan Murphy told the public that going to the gym was still OK, as long as hygiene precautions are taken.

But the situation is changing quickly, and some experts have already advised people to stay away from gyms.

For those who continue to visit the gym, fastidious hygiene practices –including washing hands before and after, thoroughly wiping down machines with disinfectant before and after use, and not touching your face – are recommended.

Home workouts

As COVID-19 continues to spread, establishing a home workout routine is a safe alternative to going to the gym.

You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on an exercise bike to work out effectively at home.

Many workouts, including bodyweight exercises and yoga, require little to no equipment.

But buying some basic and inexpensive equipment, such as resistance bands, a skipping rope, yoga mat, and dumbbells or kettlebells, could help to keep your workout interesting.

These items can be ordered from online stores and marketplaces such as eBay, and delivered to your door.

Fitness apps and online resources

In lieu of a personal trainer, there are many fitness apps and free online resources to help make your home workout more effective and enjoyable.

Some apps have also announced extended free trials in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including Peloton, which is offering a free 90-day trial of its home workout app.

Other fitness apps include The Nike Training Club, which offers a variety of free workouts, 8Fit and Aaptiv.

The internet is a treasure trove of free health and fitness resources, from YouTube videos to training programs.

Here are a few suggestions:

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