Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Students discuss COVID-19’s impact on the gym

Tuesday, November 24, 2020
A Southeast student squats at the Student Recreation Center in Cape Girardeau.
Photo by Roman Holloway

Although gyms are taking serious precautions, the CDC believes it’s still extremely risky for people to work out in gyms during the pandemic because many tests have traced back to these areas.

All gym users have been affected in some way by COVID-19 regulations, but they continue to fight through the adversity to go work out.

Junior Daniel Frew, a frequent gym-goer, believes his workout routine was strongly impacted because of a select few guidelines.

“Wearing a mask while working out doesn’t feel great because it makes lifting way more challenging,” Frew said. “Masks make it seem harder to breathe and makes me sweat more profusely, but I understand why we need to do it.”

Frew loved the idea of limiting the number of people inside the facility at once, because it’s less crowded and more machines are now open that typically weren’t before.

“When I go in, I never have to wait in line to get in or have to wait for certain machines to be open,” Frew said. “My workouts go by a lot faster because of the no wait, and I feel like I accomplish more in a smaller amount of time.”

The Rec Center staff cleans the equipment constantly to make sure it’s up-to-date with the Protect the Nest Guidelines. Students have noticed and enjoyed the cleanliness of the gym facilities.

Junior Blake Johnson, a self-proclaimed “gym enthusiast” likes going to the gym this semester more than previous others because of this.

“Obviously, wearing the masks sucks, but I love how every time I use the equipment, it’s always been wiped off,” Johnson said. “I constantly see employees wiping off equipment and cleaning around the gym. It makes me feel safer and more comfortable being at the gym.”

Many students like Frew and Johnson aren’t necessarily scared about contracting COVID-19 from the gym because they believe that gyms are taking the proper safety measures to help reduce the spread. They believe working out during this stressful time is important because it helps your body physically and mentally.

Junior Cameron Gittemeier, a health education major and frequent gym-goer, believes it’s extremely important to still work out during the pandemic.

“Right now is the absolute best time to start working out because of all the extra free time many people have,” Gittemeier said. “It’s important to still work out during the pandemic because regular exercise can help reduce respiratory problems which is a major cause of death for COVID.”

Despite the impact from the pandemic, students are still finding time to work out and are feeling safe at the same time. For more information about the rules and regulations at Southeast, click here.