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Group Fitness Class Safety Tips

By: Erin Coleman, B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.,

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

group fitness class safety

When you're ready to start back up with exercise classes, group fitness class safety might be at the forefront of your mind – and for good reason.

If COVID-19 concerns make you think twice about heading to the gym, group fitness class safety should be a top priority as more and more gyms reopen and resume exercise classes.

You might be wondering what you need to do to stay safe with respect to attending or teaching group fitness classes.

Knowing more about simple safety tips can drastically reduce your chance of getting sick.

Keep reading for 16 group fitness class safety tips that will keep you — and your family — safe.

Want to skip the gym altogether? Try these at-home workouts for women!

16 Group Fitness Class Safety Tips

The following group fitness class safety tips can lower your risk of contracting COVID-19, the flu, or other illnesses while participating in some of your favorite workouts:

Social Distance and Stay Six Feet Apart

To achieve optimal group fitness class safety, make sure you (and other members of your fitness class) social distance.

Stay at least six feet away from other fitness class participants before, during, and after exercise whenever possible.

Chances are, you probably prefer some extra space when working out in groups anyway, especially if your workout class requires a lot of movement.

Keep Workout Equipment Clean

Keeping workout equipment clean is one of the best ways to lower the chance of participants getting sick.

Thoroughly clean and sanitize equipment between workout sessions to ensure optimal group fitness class safety.

If your exercise facility doesn't offer disinfectant wipes in the group fitness workout areas, bring your own to wipe off equipment before and after you touch it.

Ask your instructor if they clean and sanitize equipment prior to each class, or clean the equipment yourself just to err on the side of caution.

Encourage Good Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene is paramount when trying to ensure group fitness class safety.

Signs near group fitness workout areas can encourage participants to stay six feet apart, wash their hands often, use hand sanitizer, and avoid attending class when they're sick.

Wear a mask while walking into and out of workout areas, and avoid attending group workout sessions with other participants if you (or they) have a fever, cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, extreme fatigue, muscle aches, or loss of taste or smell.

Exercise Outdoors Whenever Possible

To optimize group fitness class safety, consider choosing outdoor exercise classes vs. indoor workouts.

Doing so makes it easier to maintain social distancing and avoid touching the same surfaces as other people.

Breathing outdoor air vs. indoor air may reduce your risk of contracting an illness, especially in situations requiring social distancing.

Look for local boot camp classes, running clubs, or other types of outdoor group fitness classes to get or stay in shape without a high risk of getting sick.

Consider Virtual Group Fitness Classes

If you'd rather not take the risk of being around sick fitness class members, consider virtual group classes instead!

You can get the same exceptional workouts in, without leaving the comfort of your home.

Choose live-stream workouts that might include high-intensity interval training (HIIT), yoga, dance, cardiovascular exercise, weight training, circuit training, or combinations of these exercises!

Change up your workout routine and classes often to avoid boredom, improve your fitness level, maximize muscle development, and minimize body fat.

Try the Mirror During At-Home Workouts

While it's a bit of an investment upfront, using a Mirror is an excellent way to get tight and toned, while attending group exercise classes from the comfort of home.

You can simply place a mirror-like device against a wall, choose the workout of your choice, and get moving with your favorite instructor.

You don't have to worry about germs, coughing, social distancing, and distractions from nearby fitness class members.

Keep Personal Hygiene Items on Hand

To maintain optimal group fitness class safety, keep certain items on hand in a gym bag or your purse.

Items to consider include hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes for cleaning exercise equipment, a mask, or even gloves if you're worried about touching germ-infested surfaces.

If you work out at a gym and plan to shower there, make sure to bring flip flops to wear while showering and walking through locker rooms, to avoid picking up germs and fungi from floor surfaces.

Choose Workout Facilities Wisely

Some gyms and other workout facilities are more hygienic and cautious about social distancing than others, so choose workout facilities wisely when group fitness class safety is your goal.

Safe gym staff members often require masks upon entry and exit, thoroughly wash all workout equipment daily, maintain plenty of space between workout equipment, keep group fitness class sizes small, and may even check member's temperatures upon entering the facility.

Boost Your Immune System

Boosting your immune system can help you fight off illnesses and diseases, and reduce your risk of getting sick in the first place.

While strong immunity isn't a guarantee you'll avoid getting sick, it can greatly reduce your risk.

Examples of things you can do to boost your immune system include taking multivitamin supplements, getting at least seven hours of sleep each night, completing regular exercise, eating healthy foods, and keeping stress levels low.

Immune-boosting nutrients to consider include probiotics, vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, iron, selenium, and protein.

Eat a nutritious diet and take dietary supplements for women as needed to avoid nutritional deficiencies.

Know How Viruses Spread

Knowing more about how viruses spread can help you take the necessary steps to avoid getting sick.

You can become ill by breathing in tiny droplets in the air after an infected person sneezes or coughs.

You might also get sick after touching a surface an infected person has touched and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with the same hand.

Consider Getting Vaccinated

If you have a compromised immune system or you simply want to lower your risk of contracting an illness, consider getting vaccinated if your doctor recommends it.

For example, getting the flu vaccine reduces your risk of contracting the flu virus, and can diminish the severity of your symptoms if you do become ill.

Don't Shake Hands with Other People

Shaking hands with other people is a common method for virus and bacteria transmission, which is why it's best to just say no to shaking hands.

If someone tries to do so, don't feel bad about declining.

Simply explain you're trying to minimize your risk of becoming sick.

Learn how to keep your immune system strong and fight viruses, bacteria, and stress!


Use Your Own Workout Equipment

To optimize group fitness class safety, consider using your own workout equipment rather than the equipment provided by group fitness instructors or gyms.

For example, bring your own jump rope, resistance bands, dumbbell weights, or workout mat rather than using equipment other fitness class participants have touched.

Or, avoid workout equipment altogether and simply use your own bodyweight as resistance during exercise.

Start Your Own Fitness Classes

If your local gym doesn't offer exercise classes or doesn't meet group fitness class safety standards, start your own workout classes.

Meet at public parks or other outdoor areas, and encourage class participants to bring their own equipment to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

Consider leading yoga, HIIT, circuit training, group distance running, or strength-training workouts.

Get a group fitness instructor certification to make yourself a more desirable candidate!

If you're unable to or feel more comfortable conducting virtual fitness classes, stream live workouts, or create your own fitness video channel online.

Consider Peloton Home Workouts

While it's not cheap, consider purchasing Peloton workout machines for your home to avoid being around a lot of people during group exercise classes.

With a Peloton stationary bike or treadmill, you'll choose from a variety of classes and fitness instructors of your choice.

You can reap the numerous fitness and motivational benefits of group exercise classes from the comfort of home.

Join the Fit Mother Project

Maintaining a healthy weight and adopting other healthy lifestyle habits is one of the best ways to strengthen your immune system and reduce your risk of contracting an illness or disease.

Join the Fit Mother Project – designed for busy moms – to gain nutrition education, access fat-burning (at-home) workouts, and receive the motivational support needed to stay on track with healthy lifestyle habits long-term.

Sign up for the Fit Mother Project 30X (FM30X) weight loss plan to drop unwanted weight, or try a free FMP meal plan and workout to get started with a healthier lifestyle today!

Learn how to create a healthier lifestyle and body with these 5 actionable tips!


Additional Ways to Stay Healthy

In addition to abiding by group fitness class safety recommendations, there are a few other ways you can reduce your risk of getting sick.

Get at Least 7 Hours of Sleep

Getting enough sleep is one of the best ways to keep your immune system strong enough to prevent or fight off illnesses.

Set a regular bedtime routine, allowing yourself at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night if possible.

If not, take naps during the day to help your body function at its best.

Sleep in a co0l, dark, quiet room, and go to bed at the same time each night.

Keep stress levels as low as possible, and sleep next to a white noise machine if you struggle to get a good night's rest.

Learn how to improve your sleeping habits, helping you to wake up feeling well-rested in the morning.


Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Many Americans don't consume enough fruits and vegetables to get the fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients their bodies need to maintain a strong immune system.

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables daily, and include them at each meal.

Fill half of each plate with non-starchy vegetables, such as leafy greens, tomatoes, and bell peppers.

Fill the other half of your plate with protein foods and starches (such as corn, peas, beans, sweet potatoes, and whole grains).

Eat fruit at least twice a day and dairy foods or plant-based alternatives three times daily if you can.

Avoid Smoking and Drinking Alcohol

Tobacco use and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can weaken your immune system, increasing your risk of developing an illness or disease.

Avoid smoking altogether and steer clear of alcohol if you can.

If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation, which equates to one drink or less per day for women.

Stay on top of your nutrition on the weekend by using these 5 weekend diet tips!


Reduce Stressors in Your Life

Chronic stress can take a toll on your immune system, putting you at risk of contracting COVID-19, the flu, and other illnesses.

Take steps to reduce stressful situations.

Ask friends or family members for help when you need it, say no to too many obligations, and try relaxation techniques.

Examples include yoga, tai chi, meditation, massage, getting more sleep, and taking a mental day off from work or other obligations.

See a mental health specialist if depression or anxiety is causing too much stress in your life.

See Your Doctor Regularly

Visit your doctor on a regular basis, or at least once a year for a routine checkup, to determine if you have a hormone imbalance, nutritional deficiencies, or chronic disease risk factors requiring medical attention.

If you do, seeking prompt treatment helps keep your immune system strong, energy levels high, and your overall health at its best.

A simple blood test helps your doctor check cholesterol levels, nutrient levels, hormones, and even the presence of prediabetes and diabetes.

Looking for signs you're a healthy woman? Try these 7 health tests you can do at home!


Should I Participate in Group Fitness Classes?

The decision to participate in group fitness classes is entirely up to you.

If you can safely social distance and take proper steps to reduce your risk of COVID-19, the flu, and other illnesses, participating in fitness classes might be for you.

It's an excellent way to socialize with other people, get motivated for workouts, and stay lean.

However, if you have an autoimmune disease, a compromised immune system, or you're in regular contact with friends or family members with compromised immune systems, you might want to stick with at-home or virtual classes instead.

If joining an in-person exercise class is what keeps you active, healthy, and fit, take precautions to make group fitness class safety a top priority!

Erin Coleman

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

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  • VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X

If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

  • The simple & delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan with easy recipes for you and your family.
  • The metabolism-boosting Fit Mother 30X Workout (under 90 min/week) to kickstart your metabolism for fast fat burning.
  • VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X

*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on group fitness class safety.

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