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25 Percent of Americans Say They'll Never Go Back Here Post-Coronavirus

Best Life logo Best Life 6/29/2020 Kali Coleman

a woman sitting on a park bench © Provided by Best Life The entire country has reopened in some capacity at this point, but the pandemic is far from over in a number of states where new cases of coronavirus continue to rise. Businesses that have in fact opened their doors to customers once again have done so with safety guidelines instructing patrons to wear masks and practice social distancing while inside. But regardless of how many  safety precautions are taken, for a quarter of Americans there's one place they won't be going back to anytime soon, even after the coronavirus: the gym.

A survey of 2,000 Americans who typically exercise at least twice a week found that one in four said they would not be returning to the gym for exercise after the pandemic. The survey, which was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of LIFEAID Beverage Co., found that 24 percent of respondents said they were done with gyms forever, while one in three stated they would go less often than they did before.

"The biggest concern with coronavirus is being in close contact with other people and the exposure to their respiratory droplets, which are usually transmitted through coughing, sneezing or heavy breathing," sports medicine specialist Caitlin Lewis, MD, explained for the Cleveland Health Clinic. "Gyms are tricky because it's typically hard to maintain social distance and you're in a relatively confined space."

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Home workouts have become more favorable for some as quarantines are being lifted, with 42 percent saying they have a home fitness set-up that they prefer more than a typical gym.

For those who still plan to go to the gym, they plan to do so cautiously. The average respondent said they would wait at least four and a half weeks after their gym reopened before visiting for the first time. As for face masks, 83 percent of respondents said they would feel more comfortable going if everyone was wearing a mask, and 62 percent said they believed that "wearing masks in gyms will help against the spread of COVID-19." However, some fitness-minded folks remain anti-mask, with 26 percent saying they wouldn't go to any gym where wearing a mask was mandatory.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do recommend that people wear face masks while exercising in close proximity to others. Lynell Ross, certified personal trainer with the American Council on Exercise and founder of Zivadream, previously explained to Best Life that this is because "even talking with a normal heart rate may spray droplets six feet or more," so when people breathe heavier while exercising, their droplets may travel further.

Gym reopening with enhanced COVID policies. Reopening after a pandemic. Small business adapting to COVID-19 © Provided by Best Life Gym reopening with enhanced COVID policies. Reopening after a pandemic. Small business adapting to COVID-19

"We understand why some gym-goers may reject wearing a mask throughout their entire workout, but no one should drop the ball on cleanliness and disinfection of hands and equipment. It's a courtesy and a personal responsibility as much as the responsibility of the gyms'," Aaron Hinde, co-founder of LIFEAID Beverage Co., said in a statement.

When it comes to making sure others are following the rules, people seem more than eager to monitor the hygiene practices of their fellow members. More than 90 percent of respondents said they would be "more vigilant about others wiping down equipment properly," and nearly 50 percent said they would actively call someone out if they saw them not properly cleaning the equipment. However, only 38 percent said they would be so cautious that they would wipe down equipment before each use. And for more on fitness safety right now, check out This Is The Absolute Worst Place to Go in Your Gym During Coronavirus.


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