How to exercise safely now that gyms are open

Photography by Andrew Yang

It’s finally the time of year everyone’s been waiting for: PAC and CIF are open for all your fitness needs. 

After a long closure due to the pandemic and government lockdowns, gyms across the Waterloo Region are slowly reopening, including the two major on-campus fitness centres, PAC and CIF. However, with a vast amount of people flocking to these spaces, it is important to remember that pandemic protocols are still in place. Here is a list of tips (and important reminders) to keep in mind when exercising at PAC and CIF this term. 

  1. Bags not allowed
    1. A new policy that has been enforced this term is that backpacks cannot be brought in within the workout area. All gym-goers are required to leave their bags on the ground floor or in changing rooms. If you are uncomfortable leaving your bags unsupervised, PAC and CIF offer lockers for a fee. Small lockers are $25 per term and large lockers are $35 per term. These lockers come with complimentary towel service where you can rent out one towel at a time. 

If you wish to carry specific equipment, small string bags may be allowed but all other bags must be stowed away in lockers or changing rooms, and outside of the workout areas. 

  1. Reservations no longer required 
    1. As of this week, reservations are no longer required for PAC or CIF. Students can now walk in without reserving a time slot for most cardio and weight training activities. 

PAC does have a capacity limit: only 60 people can be inside the gym at all times. If capacity is reached, participants will be asked to wait outside until the appropriate number of users leave. Please keep this in mind when scheduling workouts into your day. 

If you would like to participate in lane swim, however, reservations are still required. Other activities that still require reservations include open rec badminton and squash. All reservations can be made on the Waterloo Warriors website under facility reservations. Please note that all other protocols are still in place. All gym-goers are required to show their enhanced vaccine passport and a valid piece of government ID. 

  1. Don’t forget your mask + sanitize. 
    1. While masks can be taken off while exercising, they are still required for entry and when walking around the gym. It is also important to remember to please sanitize the equipment before and after use to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

At the end of the day, working out at PAC or CIF is a great way to stay fit — it’s inexpensive and convenient. To make sure these gyms remain an option for everyone on-campus, it is important to follow the appropriate safety protocols in place and stay safe.