Keeping fit while staying safe at gyms

Not taking chances: An employee cleaning the equipment at a gym in Kuala Lumpur. — AZMAN GHANI/The Star

PETALING JAYA: Gym operators are taking it to the next level to ensure the safety of their patrons and staff since being allowed to reopen earlier this week.

Savage Gears HQ co-owner Lim Jian Hung said besides allowing only fully vaccinated members and workers to return, he also placed an emphasis on the ventilation requirements set by the National Security Council (NSC).

“Although our premises is air-conditioned, we still open all our windows to ensure sufficient flow of air throughout the gym.

“We also purchased several carbon dioxide (CO2) monitors to and placed them throughout the gym,” he said, adding that he also purchased several sanitiser guns for use by members as an extra precaution during their sessions.

Lim said the turnout in the early days was good with about 80% of his customers returning.

Matt Mazdak, 41, who owns three commercial gym outlets in the Klang Valley, said he has employed the services of a full-time cleaner for each outlet.

“Our cleaners work around the clock to ensure the equipment and interior areas of the gym are cleaned and sanitised constantly.

“Apart from this, we are also bringing in monitors to measure the CO2 levels in the gym before taking any additional steps to ensure compliance with the ventilation requirements,” he added.

In Labuan, gym owner Hasvir Singh Bal, 33, said in addition to opening the windows of the gym throughout the day, he also installed an exhaust fan on the ceiling to ensure better circulation.

“We also require our members to bring two towels for their session, for personal use and to wipe down the equipment after use,” he said.

He added that despite Labuan currently being under Phase Four of the National Recovery Plan, the SOP of patrons masking before and after their workout has been maintained.

Gym-goers are also being cautious. Personal trainer and fitness educator Sebastian Tan said that although gyms had reopened, several of his clients still preferred to train at home.

“Some of my newer clients are more comfortable with continuing their sessions at home.

“For clients whom I am training in person, I always wear my mask and advise them to do so too depending on the exercise,” he said.

Gym-goer Zarol Alfiyan said he intentionally selected gym times with a lower turnout to minimise contact with others.

“Even now, many of my friends are still cautious and constantly check which slots are heavily occupied as a precautionary measure before coming to the gym,” said the 25-year-old.

Cassandra Foo, 29, said she would wait until the total number of cases in the Petaling district dropped further before returning.

“Apart from the drop in cases, I am also waiting to see whether there is strict enforcement of the SOP by the staff at my gym before returning,” she said.

In Kota Kinabalu, freelance personal trainer Calveen Petrus said despite the stringent measures by the management of his gym, he would continue staying cautious by sanitising regularly and maintaining a physical distance in the gym.

“In addition to the SOP being tightly enforced here, there will be daily reminders in our WhatsApp groups along with notes pasted across the premises,” he said.

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