Should You Workout During The Coronavirus Outbreak?

As a result of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) developments, many are asking whether they should be working out and heading to the gym?

First, let’s make sure you’re not using the outbreak as an excuse to skip your workouts! It’s important to note that exercise actually strengthens your immune system and those who are healthy and fit, typically experience less illness.

With that said, there are definitely some things that you should be doing to minimize your risk:

Guidelines For The Gym:

Ask your gym about their cleaning routine and which products they are using to disinfect equipment and surfaces

Assure there is disinfectant available so that you and your fellow members can wipe down any equipment after usage

Assure there is hand sanitizer available and if not, bring your own to use when you can’t easily wash your hands

Wash your hands using hot, soapy water for 20 seconds when you arrive at the gym, after using the bathroom, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing and just before you leave the gym. This is the best way to control transmission in normal, healthy adults.

Stay home if you’re feeling sick to minimize infecting others

If you are nervous about being in a public setting, workout from home or outdoors. If you have a session scheduled with your trainer, ask them if they will conduct your session by phone, Skype or Facebook Live.

Avoid the usual high fives and fist bumps with your fellow exercise enthusiasts and trainers. Instead use verbal recognition until cold and flu season is behind us.

Ultimately do whatever you can to keep your immune system strong so that if you are exposed to any virus or bacteria, your body is strong enough to fight it. Here’s some key tips:

Sleep is critical to maintaining the strength of your immune system

Hydration helps to assure your immune system is functioning well

Consume a high quantity of fruits and vegetables to maintain high levels of vitamins and minerals in your diet

Exercise also strengthens your immune system so continue with your workouts

Increase your intake of products that reduce inflammation and boost your immune system including turmeric, vitamin c, echinacea, apple cider vinegar, lemon, ginger, zinc, elderberry, and/or herbal teas

If you are feeling run down, lighten up your workout volume and intensity and increase your focus and efforts in the above areas.

If you are signed up for a running event or other outdoor event, keep in mind that being outdoors provides less risk than being indoors in confined spaces. If you are nervous about your exposure at high participation events, consider carrying your own fuel/hydration instead of taking what is provided to you as another way to minimize your risk. Follow the tips above to practice good hygiene and minimize your hand contact with others and high-touch surfaces.

As always, proper and safe etiquette is to wash your hands frequently and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue. At the very least, cough or sneeze into your elbow and avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands.

It currently appears that healthy adults are at a lower risk and should continue with their normal routine while taking extra efforts in the areas noted above. Stay healthy and strong!

Note: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started.  Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan


Join us for the Couve Clover Run (3, 7 & 10 Miles) March 22nd, 2020!

Join us for the 6th Annual Couve Clover Run and celebrate in your festive green while running or walking 3, 7 or 10 miles along an extremely fast and scenic course to support local charities! We will make you earn your post-event party but it will be off the charts hosted by Main Event and other downtown Vancouver Pubs & Breweries.




Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at

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