Slow down if you want to feel the burn – that’s what South Korean officials are telling gym goers as the country experiences a fourth wave of Covid-19.
New guidelines from Monday include a requirement that gyms do not play music with more than 120 beats per minute (bpm) during group exercise classes to avoid rapid breathing and splattering of sweat on other people.
Arrived at 132 bpm, “Gangnam Style” of South Korean Psy is excluded. But gym goers can still work out on Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”, Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown” or BTS’s “Dynamite”.
“When you run faster you spit out more respiratory droplets, which is why we try to restrict heavy cardio exercise,” Health Ministry spokesperson Son Young-rae said in a radio interview. Monday, according to South Korea’s English-language daily. The Korean herald.
The near-lockdown restrictions were in place in the capital, Seoul, and neighboring areas.
The restrictions also limit the speed of treadmills to a maximum of 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) per hour and prohibit the use of gym showers.
Some opposition lawmakers have raised questions about the effectiveness of the new rules.
“So you don’t get Covid-19 if you walk less than 6 km / h,” Kim Yong-tae, a member of the main opposition People Power Party, said, according to Reuters. “And who the hell checks the bpm of songs when you work out?” I don’t understand what Covid-19 has to do with my choice of music. “
Some gym owners are also skeptical.
“Playing joyful tracks like BTS songs is to boost our members’ morale and the overall mood, but my biggest question is whether playing classical music or BTS songs has proven to have an impact on the spread of the coronavirus, ”Seoul gymnasium owner Kang Hyun-ku, the agency said. “Nothing has yet been clearly proven. “
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New daily cases in South Korea remained above the 1,000 range for seven consecutive days on Monday, another new high, with 1,150 cases, health officials said.
The country was praised at the start of the pandemic for overcoming the crisis with relatively few cases compared to other developed countries, but the recent spike has sounded alarm bells at the highest level of government.
“We are now facing the worst crisis since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic here,” President Moon Jae-in said at an emergency response meeting on Monday as he ordered the pandemic restrictions the strictest to date.
Two weeks ago, the Moon administration promised to ease restrictions, but the increase in the number of cases has changed those plans.
“I’m so sorry to ask people to put up with the situation a little longer,” Moon said.