When gyms fully open up and you're back on the elliptical, you'll probably have a lot more space around you.  Gyms are part of the first phase of the President's re-opening plan, but not without big changes.

The gym has been one of the things I've missed the most out of all of the closures.  I have a treadmill at home and I've been running outside too, but I miss the social aspect of the gym. I don't go to the gym to flirt, but I do go to be inspired by other fitness types and to chit chat with the friends I've made there over the past few years.  I will be so glad when we're free to go again and get sweaty in front of each other and not care how bad we look.  It's an exercise in vulnerability too.

President Trump said last Friday that gyms will be included in Phase One of the plan to re-open the economy, which means gyms could be opening doors in the next week or so.  Gyms are working out plans now to comply with the conditions of re-opening, and that means we're probably going to see changes.  Some of these were starting to happen before my gym shut down in mid-March.  Maybe you've noticed them too.

3 Ways Gyms May Be Different When They Reopen

1.  Scan your own card.  My gym used to have people scanning membership cards at the front desk, but now that everything is going contactless, this may be a thing of the past.  Before my gym shut down, I was already seeing scanners sitting right next to the double XL jug of hand sanitizer at the front desk with a sign that told me to scan and go.  Attendants were still there to monitor everything and hand out special cards for swim classes and yoga, but contact was minimal.  That will continue.

2.  Exercise equipment will be six feet apart.  The treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes may have been 2 to 3 feet apart before, and now as the machines are scooted further away from each other and create more social distance, gyms may have to eliminate a few machines to make space.  At least that guy grunting on the machine next to us will be a little harder to hear.

3.  Social distance reminders.  Tape may be on floors to create lanes of social distance, and grids may appear in exercise classes so everyone stays inside his or her own square.  Signs will be everywhere reminding us to wash hands for 20 seconds, wipe down machines after use, stay six feet apart from other sweaty people, and get the heck out if we're feeling sick.

Wearing a mask at the gym would be tricky because it's already hard to breathe while we're working out and the last thing we need is some help getting winded.  But we may see a few masks there as we all try to figure out how to be.

I am so excited to hop back in the pool at my gym I can hardly stand it.  Before my pool closed, the lifeguards told me they had heard from health experts, and they agreed that the chlorine kills most bacteria, including coronavirus, so the water is a safe place to be.  I hope that is a good sign for pools this summer too.

Nobody really knows exactly how life is going to look on the other side of the coronavirus situation, but one thing is for sure.  We're all going to be so glad to get out again that we won't take another thing for granted.  And that includes the pain and torture of a really hard workout.  At least we're doin' it.