5 Things to remember when returning to the Gym in the New Year

New Year, New You? If your New Year’s Resolutions involve heading to the gym to increase your fitness levels or strength, you will want to keep reading. We have compiled some tips to help you through the return to gyms.
Decathlon Ireland
September 20, 2023

For many of us, it has been a long time since we have been in a commercial gym, for some it hasn’t been too long. Regardless, with increasing Covid-19 cases and New Year’s Resolutions at their peak it’s safe to say things will be different then before. Keep reading for some of our advice and tips for getting back into the gym in 2022. 

Firstly, it’s likely some of us are now used to home workouts and have even invested in home gym equipment. Since gyms have reopened last June it has been reported that they have been quieter than previous years, it’s likely that many gfitness lovers continued to workout at home and if you have, go you! If you went back to the gym you will have noticed the lack of gym-goers. However,  it’s likely that the vast majority will be confused when making the decision on where to work out in 2022, a change of scenery is probably all we need after a relatively isolated Christmas period for many..

All we know for sure is that the vaccine rollout is going well and hopefully the end of the pandemic will come soon. What we can do is trust that our sport and leisure facilities are safe and are taking precautions for the wellbeing of their members. There are a couple of things we can do to help keep it that way and limit the spread of Covid-19 in gyms.

1. Start small and enjoy the return to the gym.

It’s safe to say that if you have enjoyed home workouts, long walks or hikes over the lockdown period, it has definitely been a while since you could run on a treadmill, or lift heavy weights. Whatever you do in your exercise regime, take it nice and easy. Give yourself time to adapt to the gym environment, be sure that you stretch and warm up to reduce the risk of picking up an injury in your first sessions back.

2. Do as much as you can at home.

‍This may sound contradictory, as the gyms are open and New Year's Resolutions are in full swing, we are all eager to get back through the gym doors. But it is strongly advisable to limit any unnecessary time in the gym and we can easily do this by getting ready and showering at home. Limiting our time in locker rooms and also limiting our exposure to the virus and let’s be honest, who prefers a locker room to your own home bathroom anyways? 

We believe that this may not seem as inconvenient as it would have been pre-pandemic, but it’s worth mentioning that we still have to stay home where possible. So if you are in a position to limit your time in the gym, you should do it. It will give you time for an extra couple of minutes to warm up effectively!

3. Pre book gym classes and sessions online.

Many gyms are continuing to offer facilities to book your slot on the gym floor or in gym classes prior to arrival, which is a great way to secure your session, bump up your motivation to get back to the gym and also while making the most of limited capacities. Gyms are doing their best to make it easier and safer than ever before to get your workout done in the gym, as opposed to zoom (and we don’t want to go back there).

4. Do your part to keep your gym clean.

It goes without saying that we don’t want gyms to become a breeding ground for Covid-19, we have done relatively well since June to allow the gyms to stay open, let's not drop the effort now. Covid-19 has made gym etiquette more important and possibly even more strict in some gyms. However, we recommend that instead of using your personal sweat towel to wipe down gym machinery, you should use items such as sanitary wipes and antibacterial spray (that may even be provided by the gym itself) to make sure it’s as safe as possible.

5. Feeling unwell? Stay home.

You might be so exposed to the “Stay Home” messaging after the situation we have been dealing with the last 2 years, but it still very much applies. If you are feeling under the weather, even if it’s not a Covid related symptom, it’s common courtesy to other gym goers to stay away from the gym for at least five days and if possible, continue your fitness routine at home.


Just one final reminder from us, to keep applying social distancing measures, make sure that you continue to regularly wash and sanitize your hands after any sort of public exposure or activity and of course, continue to stay safe.

We are now on the home stretch and we should be excited and delighted that we are another step in the right direction towards beating this pandemic and having a successful and healthy 2022.

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