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Family Sports & Fitness

Gym Germs

When you go to the gym, you’re doing your body a service. Now take just a few important steps to stay healthy by protecting yourself from colds, flu, infections and other transmittable misfortunes while you’re there.

The gym is a public place, as much a Petri dish for disease as the mall, the bus or the schoolyard, but with the added element of bodily fluids like sweat. Keep the odds of good health in your favor by taking these precautions at the gym.
Bring your own equipment whenever you can, whether it’s a yoga mat, boxing gloves and wraps or towels. Shared supplies like mats are magnets for everyone else’s sweat and dirt.

Wash up:
Head to the head after your workout and wash your hands with warm water and soap, rubbing them together for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your face or eyes/nose – and eating – until after you wash.

Be a wrapper:
If you have any cuts, burns, rashes or other skin wounds, cover them securely before you hit the gym. Infections can be spread through the breaks in your skin. And if you see someone with signs of an active skin infection, avoid using equipment they’ve used.

Be a dual wiper:
Wipe equipment before and after you use it. Use an antibacterial wipe or spray – not a towel. If your gym doesn’t provide them, bring some with you.

Shower smarter
Before getting into a hot tub or pool, shower to prevent spreading your bacteria into the mix. Shower afterward too, to wash off any you might be exposed to in these public areas. Always shower after a workout to prevent fungal infections which can develop if you linger in sweaty clothes. And always wear shower shoes in gym showers to avoid ringworm and other fungal infections.

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