Is It Safe To Go To The Gym After You're Vaccinated?

The pandemic has forced many gym-goers to put their memberships on hold for the better part of a year. But now that COVID-19 vaccinations are well underway, many are wondering if it's finally safe to go back. The answer is a tentative yes. If you're fully vaccinated, it is fairly safe for you to go back to the gym to work out (via Bustle). However, you still need to take the proper safety precautions.

Going to the gym is still a high-risk activity. COVID-19 is spread through infected respiratory droplets that are released when someone sneezes, coughs, talks, or even breathes heavily. Depending on how small or crowded the gym is, it can be difficult to avoid being near people who are breathing heavily, especially since treadmills and other workout equipment are often placed right next to each other. And although it's rare, it is possible for fully vaccinated people to get COVID-19 and spread it to those who are still unvaccinated.

How to stay safe at the gym

While some gyms have taken preventative measures to help ensure that their customers can work out in a relatively safe environment, others have been linked to major COVID-19 outbreaks. That's why it's important to limit your exposure to the virus by continuing to take the necessary precautions to keep both yourself and others safe (via Today). The best way to reduce the risk of transmission is to wear a mask throughout the entire duration of your workout, especially during high-intensity activities.

"Most of the time, there are more than 20 individuals working out in a gym space, so I think it makes sense to wear a mask — not only for one's protection, but to protect other people around us," Dr. Bruce Hirsch, an infectious disease physician at Northwell Health in Long Island, New York, told Today. "We still don't have the virus under control."

Another way to reduce transmission is to social distance whenever possible. If you're attending a workout class, you should try to stay at least six feet apart from the people next to you. The safest options, however, are to just workout from home or attend outdoor exercise classes. Until the majority of Americans are vaccinated, everyone will need to continue to do their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19.