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NC is 1 of 8 states where gyms are still closed. What research says about it

With North Carolina staying in Phase 2 for at least 5 more weeks, gyms and bars will be closed until at least September. Why can't they reopen like other businesses?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Gyms and bars in North Carolina won't be allowed to reopen until at least September 11 after Gov. Roy Cooper announced the state will remain in Phase 2 of coronavirus reopening. 

While the news is frustrating for business owners across the state, research shows that going to a bar or a gym are some of the riskiest things people can do during a pandemic. 

A list from the Texas Medical Association ranks the risk of catching coronavirus during dozens of common activities on a scale from 1-10.  The list includes activities such as opening mail, which is considered the lowest risk.  However, other activities such as going to a bar, which is considered among the highest risk.

North Carolina is one of just eight states where gyms are still closed. So, what's the deal? When you work out, you breathe harder, making it easier for COVID-19 to linger in the air. Doctors also say some gyms have poor ventilation, something researchers know is critical to the spread of coronavirus

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If you're looking for a safe alternative, experts say the best thing you can do right now is take your exercise outdoors and stay six feet away from others. 

RELATED: 'Not all disinfectants are created equal': Owner of cleaning service explains why killing 99% of germs is not always enough

Of course it's not just gyms. Bars in North Carolina are also forced to stay closed and late-night alcohol sales are limited. That's because people are less likely to practice social distancing after having a few drinks, research indicates. People are also usually talking louder, laughing, and even singing, which can easily spread the virus through the air. 

RELATED: Owners of bars, fitness studios react to staying in Phase 2 for five more weeks

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