The One Exercise That Makes Your Coronavirus Risk Skyrocket

A new CDC report reveals one popular workout led to over 110 positive cases of COVID-19.

As gyms across the nation begin to reopen, you might be wondering what exercises and equipment are safe to use, and which you should stay away from. Now, a new study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is shedding some light on what to avoid as you try to stay fit. Their research reveals that there's one popular type of workout that led to 112 positive coronavirus cases in South Korea in March: dance aerobics.

Dance fitnesses class in the city of Cheonan, South Korea, led the spread of COVID-19 to 112 people, according to the research team at Dankook University Hospital. That's right, over 100 cases of the coronavirus in this South Korean city emanated from dance fitness classes.

The CDC report explains how "fitness dance classes set to Latin rhythms have gained popularity in South Korea because of the high aerobic intensity," and in mid-February, of the 27 instructors who participated in a training workshop for the dance fitness class, eight later tested positive. They were not yet aware of it as they were all asymptomatic. As a result, students contracted the virus and then spread it to members of their families as well.

As medical and public health experts learn more about the COVID-19 contagion, it's becoming clearer just how the coronavirus spreads. A crowded and confined area, like a workout studio, appears to be a ripe environment for the aerosol spread of the virus, especially during high-aerobic exercise and the heavy breathing that comes with. As the CDC reports, the "lower intensity of Pilates and yoga did not cause the same transmission effect as those of the more intense fitness dance classes."

According to the CDC:

Characteristics that might have led to transmission from the instructors in Cheonan include large class sizes, small spaces, and intensity of the workouts. The moist, warm atmosphere in a sports facility coupled with turbulent airflow generated by intense physical exercise can cause more dense transmission of isolated droplets.

Many states are starting to reopen nonessential businesses in an effort to restart the U.S. economy that has been cratered by the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing state-by-state lockdowns. Most gyms that are reopening in states like Florida and Georgia are following strict guidelines designed to abate the outbreak of COVID-19. But judging by this new CDC research, group dance, fitness, and aerobic classes in a confined studio should be avoided if you want to stay safe. And for more spots to steer clear of, check out 9 Mistakes You Shouldn't Make During Reopening.

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