As they prepare to reopen on Monday, gyms in Texas are making the news. Although they are taking precautions, is it safe to head back to the gym? Dr. Rand McClain spoke with Evan Anderson Holguin of NBC DFW about why it’s probably not worth the risk.
Unless you are a professional athlete who needs to train at a facility, the risk doesn’t outweigh the reward. Gyms are spreading out equipment, increasing their frequency of cleaning, and requiring employees to wear protection like gloves and masks. Even with these precautions, Dr. McClain explains why it may not be enough.
“The poison is in the dose, OK. The more people you add, the more potential viral pairs you have, the more enclosed the space, the less ventilation, the more potential you have for that transmission. The more people you have coughing, or worse than that, sneezing, the more potential,” McClain explained.
People may think that wearing a mask to the gym is the solution, when in actuality it may be dangerous.
“You can develop — even after less than an hour, but certainly by an hour — something called hypoxia or hypercapnia. Hypoxia is a fancy word for saying low oxygen, hypercapnia, high carbon dioxide levels, that can affect your mentation, your cognition and reportedly there are some studies that show that can hurt you long term. Can it hurt your workout? Certainly,” said McClain. “It isn’t helping you hit your personal best, that’s for sure. But again, it’s not really so much for you as it is for other members in case you’re carrying and it’s going to stop the droplets, viral particles, from going any further presumably, and that mask was in front of it.”
A lot of normal gym activities, like personal trainers being close by, can’t happen when the gyms in Texas open back up at 25% capacity on May 18th.