Restrictions all over the world are lifting, which means martial arts gyms are finally starting to reopen.
Most of those gyms, however, can still only hold classes outdoors with limited numbers of students.
If you’re looking to get back to the grind, here are five things you can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while training outside.
#1 Wash Before And After Training
It goes without saying, but make sure you show up to your gym’s outdoor exercises thoroughly cleaned. This will not only protect you, but it will also protect your gym mates and coaches.
And if you make a few stops en route to the gym to pick up water or recovery meals, clean your hands and wrists with alcohol wipes or gel.
When you are finished training, shower with disinfectant soap as soon as you can.
#2 Keep Conversations To A Minimum
You probably miss your training partners and will want to catch up with them during classes.
It’ll be tempting to shoot the breeze, but you should save most of the small talk for texts or phone calls.
Also, if you do need to motivate your teammates, handle it like two-sport ONE Strawweight World Champion Sam-A Gaiyanghadao and his friend did – from a distance. That leads to point three.
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#3 Maintain Proper Distance
Health departments around the world have given their suggestions on how far apart you should be from someone else to lessen the risk of spreading COVID-19.
With all the conflicting advice, it’s best to listen to your local government. Whether they tell you 6 feet or 10 feet, do your best to practice it.
Social distancing is set in place because the farther you are from someone who is infected – symptomatic or not – the less likely you are to catch and then potentially spread the virus.
For his part, two-division ONE World Champion Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang has been practicing social distancing while waiting for restrictions to be lifted in sunny Florida.
#4 Practice Solo Exercises
Even though you’re joining your gym’s outdoor group classes, that doesn’t mean you can jump straight into sparring, drill work, or pad work.
You’ve been waiting two months to smash the pads and release some of that built-up tension. But for now, you’ll have to go with other exercises.
There are plenty of routines you can do by yourself. Shadowboxing, bag work, and jumping rope are just a few – or you can bang away on the boxing reflex ball just like Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai.
#5 Clean Your Equipment
Before you touch your gloves, a bag, or any other piece of equipment, clean it with alcohol.
COVID-19 can spread through sweat and survive on surfaces for hours or days depending on the material.