FINALLY, The Scottish Government has announced the return of gyms and fitness centres (collective hooray!). 

There are those of us who are desperate to return to gym but others are naturally more apprehensive. Gyms have had to adapt their processes to keep you and their staff safe. In the light of this pandemic a lot of measures have been put in place.

Most of these will eventually reduce and disappear but there will be a new normal we will all have to accept. We need to accept that things will be more formal. The staff in centres should be following guidelines and ensuring the rules apply to all.

So what should we expect of a safe gym? Well, the days of just turning up or staying longer than expected are over. Having a booking system that limits time spent waiting around in communal areas will reduce direct contact with others.

For track and trace reasons businesses should know who is in their buildings and where they have been. You should always have been cleaning equipment after you used it but this will be emphasised more and social distancing and PPE will remain the primary focus for controlling infection, as well as enhanced cleaning measures. Seeing staff adhering to guidelines will give you confidence that they have been trained effectively and are confident enforcing health and safety.

What should you do to keep yourself right? You should ask questions! If you are not sure about something ASK!!! Every local authority or private gym is doing things a little differently, so familiarise yourself with the information your gym is giving out.

When you attend the gym try and enjoy your workout, have a plan of what your workout is going to look like.

Fitness classes will be more straightforward but in the gym it will be harder no navigate around equipment. And don’t take lots of personal belongings. Most gyms won’t allow use of communal changing rooms (YET!). The more belongings you have the more risk of contamination.

Be ready to train, be aware of the standard and please be kind to staff. We are all trying our best under very unnatural circumstances.

Stephanie Elliot is a Barrhead-based exercise and behaviour change specialist who uses the ‘PHAT’ (Positive, Healthy And Toned) approach to managing health and wellbeing safely.
Send questions to @wakeupwithsteph or check out #healthinthenews