American Council on Exercise by American Council on Exercise

You’re not alone in grappling with what the COVID-19 pandemic means for the daily work of certified personal trainers, group fitness instructors, health coaches and others. So ACE provides the following recommendations: 

1. Watch and adhere to CDC guidelines! The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is the prevailing U.S. authority for avoiding inadvertently contributing to the spread of this disease.  Watch this page and its sub-pages!   

2. Follow these best practices without fail: 

  • 20 seconds, again and again.  Wash those hands vigorously with soap and water! Do it often. And take the 20 seconds seriously. At first, it feels like forever. Then it starts to feel more normal.  (No soap and water available? Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.) 
  • No T-zone!  Stop touching your face, particularly your eyesnose and mouth. We’ve all been doing it since childhood, so it’s a hard habit to break. Now is the time to apply yourself. 
  • Cough and sneeze etiquette. Cover your mouth with a tissue then throw it away. Or use your upper sleeve. Never just let it fly.  And never cover with your hand alone. (If you slip up, refer to “20 seconds, again and again” above.) 
  • Disinfect!  Clean and disinfect frequently used items and surfaces, at work and at home. Do it regularly, then do it again. That means at the gym, too! You already disinfect equipment, of course! Now be more diligent about it, including literally all high-touch surfaces, both before and after use.  
  • Avoid close contact!  Avoid close contact with anyone who feels even a little bit sick. If you’re in an area where infections are already known, keep a buffer between yourself and everyone, whether or not they seem sick. 
  • Stay at home If you’re sick, stay at home except to receive medical care! If you must interact with others, use a mask. 

3. Share with your clients If your clients ask for your perspective or guidance, share the above tips and encourage them to adhere without fail, even in the face of the inconvenience it causes. Encourage your clients, if they feel ill in any way whatsoever, to stay home. And encourage them to review the CDC’s COVID-19 website. 

4. Act responsibly. This virus is serious – it’s not every day that the World Health Organization designates a global pandemic. But we all have more control than we think, simply by following the above recommendations  

5. Be for the greater good.  Thus far, COVID-19’s worst outcomes seem to be concentrated among the elderly and those with preexisting health conditions. You might decide that, because you are healthy and fit, you are less at risk and thus need not take this guidance quite so seriously. But this is an opportunity to be a leaderYou have an obligation to the most vulnerable among your family members, friends, coworkers, clients and neighbors to prevent yourself from contracting this virus and contributing to its silent spread.