Campus News

Students changing workout habits as gyms reopen

With gyms opening up, students talk about ways they’ve been staying safe while working out. | Juana Garcia/The Cougar

With the pandemic in full swing, many people have been struggling to find ways to keep active. When gyms closed, many resorted to finding other methods to stay fit, some involving following a YouTube workout video, running in nearby parks and engaging in other outside activities.

Mathematics senior Kenneth Dang described how running in the morning was a way he kept fit during the quarantine.

“I do not like to exercise at home since I focus more on cardio,” Dang said. “Although it might be false, I heard somewhere that an hour of running adds seven hours to your lifespan.”

However, after taking the time to find ways to adapt to the pandemic, gyms are making a recurrence. As they make their comeback, people are breaking away from their at-home routines and going to the gym. 

Understanding that safety is a top priority, gyms are equipping themselves with new rules and regulations for customers to follow.

After reopening Aug. 10, the UH recreation center released new rules to maintain the wellbeing of students and faculty. 

To protect users and staff, the recreation center installed Plexiglas around their check-in counters, placed markers indicating a distance of six feet and promised to thoroughly clean equipment. 

The facility only recently lifted the requirement for users to make a reservation for a specific 50-minute window to work out and were limited to one of those sessions per day. This helped with maintaining the facility’s capacity, social distancing and thorough cleaning of equipment.

Masks are still mandatory and the rec requires members to clean the equipment after using them. Even with these changes made, some students prefer working out in other places.

Pre-law senior Ruben Ortiz said he prefers working out at a commercial gym because it has more opportunities to weightlift. Ortiz also mentioned how his gym has similar safety regulations as the recreation center.

“My gym is providing sanitizing spray and paper towels to use before and after using any piece of equipment,” Ortiz said. “Instead of requiring us to wear masks and gloves, they leave it up to us to decide if we want to wear them, and they also limit the number of members that can sign up and the amount that can work out in the gym.”

Gym facilities might carry hand sanitizer and wipes but for an extra boost in safety, carrying a travel size pack of Clorox wipes might be beneficial. 

Although some gyms are lax in certain areas of safety, customers can still do more to keep safe. Aside from wearing a mask, practicing good hand hygiene and wiping down equipment can also help with limiting the spread of germs.

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