SOCIAL DISTANCING: 7 WAYS TO KEEP YOU AND YOUR MEMBERS SAFE
by Sarah Shortt
1. CHECK YOUR AIR FLOW
Ideally you want a flow of air from outside; if you are lucky enough to be teaching in a studio with windows, get them open! Outdoor breezes will quickly disperse clouds of exhaled air. Depending on your club’s air conditioning system, having this on may also help to minimize risk of exercising in close proximity with others. Check with your studio manager as to what their policy is for your facility.
2. AVOID BOTTLENECKS OR CLUSTERS OUTSIDE THE STUDIO
It’s likely your club has implemented a short window between classes, which will help you to manage traffic between slots. Encourage members to move quickly in and out of the studio and avoid clustering in groups before or after class.
3. PROVIDE CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS IN YOUR CLASS INTRODUCTION
Before you get into the fun stuff, it’s important to clarify the expectations of the class in a positive and supportive way.
If your club has markings on the floor to show where people should stand, point them out and get everyone in place at the beginning. Check your club’s policy on sweat towels – do people have to have them, or are they not permitted? The same goes for members bringing in their own yoga mats. The clearer you are at the beginning on how things need to run, the easier it will be for you and your members to enjoy the experience without you having to panic midway through Track 6 that you didn’t tell them something crucial!
4. ADAPT YOUR ROOM ORGANIZATION TO MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING
Depending on your studio size and program, you may need to make some adjustments to the choreography to maintain social distancing. For example, you may teach the Running Track from BODYATTACK on the spot, or not have people changing sides in the Agility Track. Check in with your local Les Mills team/ studio manager for guidance on program adjustments in your country. Keep monitoring the spacing between participants during class to ensure everyone is still complying with social distancing throughout the session, not just at the beginning.
5. DON’T SHARE EQUIPMENT DURING CLASS
A bit of a no-brainer, but it’s advised not to share weights or equipment like boxing gloves during class. The ukactive guidelines state that “Nothing will be passed to/from the Instructor to the customer – including personal items and water bottles”. Once people have chosen their equipment for the class, it’s theirs for the entire session.
6. REMIND MEMBERS TO CLEAN EQUIPMENT
Once the sole domain of the indoor studio cyclist, now we’re all in on the post-clean game! Again, check the policy of your club, but it’s likely they will have organised some kind of cleaning provisions for members to use to wipe down their equipment after (and possibly before) class.
7. BE POSITIVE AND SUPPORTIVE!
We know, this stuff isn’t fun. As Group fitness Instructors we love being the ones to inject the fun and passion into the gym, we’re (probably) not used to having to enforce the dry stuff like cleaning of equipment and making sure people aren’t standing around in groups. At the end of the day, these actions are about keeping all of us safe, enabling us to continue delivering the myriad benefits of group fitness.
- Find out where to get support