Getting weekly exercise is a great way to strengthen your immune system and benefit your overall health, but working out at a gym can be like walking into a germ factory. You're working out and breathing hard so closely to others, sharing air, equipment, and probably coming in contact with their sweat and bacteria. Here are a few tips on how to avoid germs at the gym.
- Wash your hands once you get to the gym (it's a good habit to get into during this cold and flu season). Also wash your hands after using equipment. You may want to invest in some anti-bacterial gel or wipes to clean your hands and any equipment you're about to use.
- Avoid wiping sweat off your face with your hands. Bring along a clean towel instead. You can use the towels provided by your gym, or if you are a super germ-a-phobe, you can always bring your own.
- Wear clean, dry clothes every time you go to the gym. Even though your gym clothes may seem clean, bacteria and germs may be lurking from your previous workout. Once your workout is complete, get out of those sweaty clothes and take a shower to wash away sweat, bacteria, and germs before they have a chance to make you sick. If you don't have time, at least wash your hands and face thoroughly.
- Don't go barefoot. The heat and moisture created by showers, saunas, and hot tubs creates a wonderful breeding ground for bacteria, germs, and mold. So wear sneakers while in the main part of the gym, and wear flip-flops while in the locker room and shower to prevent athlete's foot.
- Don't share, even with your friends. Use your own towel, yoga mat, goggles, sweatbands, razors, and your own bar of soap.
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