Workout Routines and COVID-19: Safe Practices for Maintaining Your Fitness

working out and covid-19

As information and updates about COVID-19 continue to dominate news headlines, take a few minutes here to learn more about the illness, what impact your physical fitness plays in maintaining a healthy immune system, and the steps that Village Fitness is taking to ensure the health of its members.

coronavirus and working out

What is the novel coronavirus?

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. According to the CDC’s website, “The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.” Such coronaviruses in this category include 229E, NL63, OC43, HKU1, in addition to MERS and SARS. According to CDC, a diagnosis with any of these coronavirus instances will be treated much differently than COVID-19.

“This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.”

For more general information on the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, we highly recommend taking a moment to the review the Frequently Asked Questions list on the CDC’s website here.

coronavirus and working out

What role does physical fitness play in the health of your immune system?

The CDC has developed guidance to help in the risk assessment and management of people who are either at higher risk or have been exposed to COVID-19, but generally, individuals in the following categories are at a higher risk of severe illness:

  • Older adults, with increasing risk by age
  • People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Lung disease

Now as much as ever, it is important to be vigilant about hygienic practices that help prevent the spread of illnesses like the novel coronavirus; however, it is equally as important to assess our lifestyles to be sure our bodies and immune systems are strengthened and protected to help us stave off potential illnesses now and in the future. Research suggests that one way to do this is through regular exercise.

In Volume 8, Issue 3 of the Journal of Sport and Health Science published in May 2019, authors David C. Nieman (Human Performance Laboratory, Appalachian State University) and Laurel M. Wentz (Department of Nutrition and Health Care Management) published “The compelling link between physical activity and the body’s defense system.” You can read the full review here, or browse our key takeaways below:

  1. Acute exercise is an immune system adjuvant that improves defense activity and metabolic health.
  2. Data support a clear inverse relationship between moderate exercise training and illness risk: the more regularly you exercise, the lower your risk for illness.
  3. Exercise training has an anti-inflammatory influence mediated through multiple pathways.
  4. Habitual exercise improves immune regulation, delaying the onset of age-related health challenges.

In short, this data confirms what most already believed to be true: regular exercise is a critical component of strengthening your immune system, and the results are undeniable. Though outbreaks like COVID-19 are cause for concern and heightened attention to hygienic practices, this research suggests that eliminating a physical fitness routine from daily life may not necessarily be the best course of action for your immune system’s health.

At Village Fitness, though we encourage our members to stay home and contact a healthcare professional if they are exhibiting any flu-like symptoms, we understand and advocate for strengthening immune systems through regular exercise and fitness routines.

gyms and coronavirus

What steps is Village Fitness taking to ensure the health of its members?

At the time of this article, only Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Ohio have issued orders to suspend visits to fitness facilities, among other popular public destinations. In South Carolina, though gym-goers are urged to exercise caution and remain vigilant about hygiene practices in a fitness facility, the state has not determined it necessary for you to avoid going. Read about the steps that the staff at Village Fitness is taking below to ensure our members can feel comfortable taking advantage of their membership.

Prevention in Our Facility

Village Fitness is regularly cleaned, is disinfected every evening by a local cleaning company, and special care is taken by VF Staff to meet high quality standards in place year-round that keep our facility clean and safe. We have added additional “deep cleaning” days as an additional precaution, along with ongoing daily cleanings by staff members throughout operational hours.

Educating Our Members

We are encouraging and educating Village Fitness members on how to do their part in helping prevent the spread of germs and viruses.

Hand washing remains the most effective method of preventing the spread of germs, including coronavirus. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

Additional everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory disease like the novel coronavirus include:

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Staying home when you are sick until you’ve been free of fever for 24 hours
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • If you or a loved one are experiencing flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough and shortness of breath, please stay home, rest and contact your medical provider.

Operations, Classes, Programs and Services

Unless we are directed by government authorities otherwise, Village Fitness will continue normal operations as usual with discretion at this time. This is a rapidly-changing environment we are experiencing and our team is diligently staying abreast of developments here in the CSRA while responding appropriately.

gyms and coronavirus

Additional Resources for Information on COVID-19