COVID-19, LONG-TERM HEALTH HABITS AND GYM ETIQUETTE COMMUNITY
COVID-19, Long-Term Health Habits and Gym Etiquette
The news of COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, spreading in the United Kingdom is everywhere. The hysteria surrounding the virus has infected far more than any virus could, but this rampant fear may also be the silver lining in the Coronavirus outbreak.In the absence of fear, seemingly inconsequential actions are often overlooked. It’s human nature to find efficiencies, so we eliminate seemingly tedious acts that don’t appear to have an impact on outcomes. Fear of consequence quickly changes the perceived importance of the action.
For example, flossing your teeth seems much more important once you’ve been told that you have a cavity, and a proper warm-up takes on new importance after your first muscle strain or injury.Regardless of whether the Coronavirus ever reaches our communities, it has already provided an opportunity to examine and reinforce basic health and hygiene habits that can make a big difference in keeping you and the rest of our community healthy and happy.
Here are a few of the ways in which our operations are improving thanks to the attention given to the spread of the Coronavirus:
Doubling our Cleaning Efforts.
Our team is doubling their efforts to maintain a clean and sanitized gym environment. We are placing particular emphasis on frequently sanitizing all door handles, countertops and other surface areas through the day to cut down transmission risks.
Equipment Wipe Down is Part of Training.
Our staff will be spending extra time ensuring that our equipment surfaces are clean and sanitized, and we’ve placed sanitary wipes throughout the gyms so that they’re readily available. Our coaches will be calling on all of our members to assist in wiping down any equipment used during a training session, so please think of this as part of the workout…you can time that as a separate event if you want to make it competitive.
Performance Enhancing Gels.
We have placed gallons of alcohol-based hand sanitizer throughout our gyms for your convenience. If you can’t get to soap and water, this is the next best thing for fighting off germs.
Let Us Know if You’ve Traveled to Areas Affected by the Coronavirus.
If you have traveled to an area that has been affected by COVID-19 or otherwise have any reason to believe that you could have been exposed to COVID-19 by someone who did, please let us know. We will gladly customize workouts that you are able to do at home if you are at all concerned that you could be putting other members of our community at risk by coming into the gym. We will gladly put together an at-home training plan for active members so that they can continue to workout if they’re feeling well enough to do so. Just say the word and we’ll make sure you maintain your fitness at home.
Embrace the Elbow Bump!
I know the elbow bump lacks a bit of intimacy that the old-fashioned high-five provides, but at least for the time being we’re asking our coaches and members to embrace the elbow bump. It’s the thought that counts anyway, so when a coach eagerly runs up and extends an elbow to celebrate your newest PR, embrace the bump!
If your coach disappears for 30-60 seconds, don’t worry, we’ve just asked that coaches wash their hands before and after coaching shifts, and sometimes during a training session if they notice that they’ve been making a lot of contact with members or equipment. We’ve also encouraged all employees to stay home if they are feeling ill. We will do our best to cover their sessions, but we appreciate the understanding if we end up a little shorter on staff than normal due to exercising caution in this area.
21-Day At-Home Workout Design for Maxwell Training Members.
In the unfortunate event that you have traveled to a COVID-19 affected area or otherwise need to avoid the gym out of respect for others, simply let one of your coaches know! We will gladly put together an at-home training plan for active members so that they can continue to workout if they’re feeling well enough to do so. Just say the word and we’ll make sure you maintain your fitness at home.Our best defense in keeping our entire community healthy is to keep each individual healthy. Accordingly, we are asking that you all double your efforts to keep yourselves healthy and happy. The following suggestions should apply year-round regardless of any fears of the Coronavirus, and now is the perfect time to lean into making them engrained habits.
Wash your hands!
Washing your hands often is one of the best defenses against viruses and infections. Set yourself on a routine of washing your hands every time you use the bathroom, as well as after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. To effectively wash your hands, you need to use soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
There is perhaps no better way to strengthen your immune system than to maintain a regular and adequate sleep schedule of 8 or more hours per night. Dr. Matthew Walker, author of “Why We Sleep,” notes that compromised sleep for even one night can significantly reduce your immune function, and studies show that individuals with disrupted sleep for more than 5 nights are 4 times more likely to contract the common cold or flu than those getting 7 or more hours of sleep per night. A key to good sleep quality is consistency; going to bed and waking at the same time every morning (even on the weekends)
Stay Home If You’re Feeling Sick.
We LOVE your motivation and consistency at the gym, but when’re feeling sick, please stay home or workout outdoors. Rest will help you heal and reduce the effects of the illness, and avoiding others will help prevent viruses from spreading. Plus, we’ve already committed to giving members at-home training options, so you can always fall back on that if you’re feeling well enough to train, but not certain you’re ready to be with others.
Cover Coughs and Sneezes.
Ideally you will cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, immediately dispose of the tissue into the trash and then proceed to wash your hands with soap and water for 20+ seconds. But we also know that sneezes and coughs can sneak up on you when you’re unprepared, so if that happens be sure to adequately cover your mouth and nose with either your hands or elbow pit and immediately wash your hands. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Eat Nutrient-Dense Foods.
We preach this on a daily basis, but now is a good time to remember that a diet of colorful, nutrient dense and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables is the foundation of optimal health. Make sure you’re supporting your immune system and overall health by eating well.
Get Your Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is a key component of keeping your immune system balanced and activating infection and virus fighting cells. For those of us lucky enough to live in a sunny environment, this could be as simple as getting outside for a 30 minute walk, but if your lifestyle or location isn’t supporting that activity, be sure to supplement with vitamin D – 5,000 IU per day is a common suggestion for individuals who don’t get a lot of natural sunlight.
Manage Stress and Relax.
Whether you’re panicking over the potential impact of the Coronavirus or dealing with career or relationship stress, none of it is helping your immune system. The hormones released when an individual is stressed or anxious suppresses the immune system by reducing the number of white blood cells that are instrumental in preventing and fighting off disease and infection. So take 10 minutes, or at least 10 slow, deep breaths, to clear your mind, control your heart rate and allow yourself to relax.
Be Physically Fit and Active.
I know we’re preaching to the choir here, but fit individuals who stay physically active are both physically and mentally more resilient. As long as you feel good, maintain your training routine and continue to strengthen your ability to fight off any bugs that come your way.Finally, please know that we put your health and wellness at the top of our priority list. We’re in the business of helping people live healthier and happier lives and will do everything in our power to continue to provide the best coaching and education so that you may do so. We are confident that the fear around the Coronavirus will pass, and excited that in its wake we will have cultivated better practices individually and collectively that will keep our population healthier than ever before.