Working out is a basic requirement of good health. A gymnasium of course provides the basic structures and tools to exercise effortlessly. As there are hardly any private gyms, or personal gyms, a higher percentage of people use public gyms.
From the school gymnasium to your friendly neighbourhood “30% Off on 3 months” gym, how many people use them both gyms serve as public space. And just like every other public space, they reek of germs and infections.
But even worse, so much bodily fluids are released on shared equipment and sometimes even personal stuff. This doesn’t really bode well for the transfer of infectious diseases since most travel through body fluids.
From common cold to skin infections, allergies, and the rare infectious disease, the gym isn’t particularly safe. But not just the gym, other public spaces with handrails, poles and bars could be just as infectious.
For perfect health and fitness, you still need to visit the gym on a regular basis. Here are ten steps to help you stay perfectly healthy and infection-free while achieving fitness goals.
Personal Hygiene Habits for a Public Gym and Other Public Places.
All equipment to be used should be wiped down, preferably with a disinfectant. If you happen to carry antibacterial wipes you could use a few to wipe down the bars or treadmill handles. Wipe benches and even door handles that might be touched by sweaty hands or butts.
Your towels are private and personal. Keep towels close to you and DO NOT share anyone else’s. Also, remember that the towel you use to wipe off the sweat and grime shouldn’t be used after a shower. A dry towel should be used to wipe off after a shower.
Sweaty, dirty gym clothes should be kept in a separate plastic bag that is to be emptied immediately you get home. Sweaty clothes already attract a lot of germs, keeping them in the darkness of your bags till next use is plain wrong. Dark, moist places fosters bacterial growth, and that’s exactly what your gym bag becomes with wet clothes. And please do not reuse gym clothes without first washing before next use.
Keep your water bottle private and stay away from someone else’s bottle. Another helpful tip; plastic bottles harbour more germs than the metal bottles. Always keep your handy metal water bottle within sight so no one sneaks a sweat-dripping sip from it. Take your bottle even if there is a drinking fountain, some sweat could drip into the fountain too you know.
Keep a hand sanitizer close by if you don’t have alcohol or antiseptic wipes, they come in handy. They could also help if you have to attend to an emergency and don’t have time to hit the showers.
Wear protective footwear to wet places to avoid fungal foot infections. Also, always clean your running footwear with antibacterial solution and air dry them after each use.
Carry your own yoga mats for workouts and floor exercises.
You might want to use your own personal DRY towels in the moist wet rooms of a spa or sauna. This tip limits exposing your body especially women to such diseases as a yeast infection.
If you feel a bit ill or weak, then take a break from working out for that day. Even if it’s a mild sneezing session you experience, you might make it worse by exposing yourself to more. Being mindful of not infecting others is also a great reason to stay away.
WOUNDS OR SKIN IRRITATION:
If perchance you have an open wound, blister or breakout rash on your body, avoid gyms and pools in particular. You would be exposing your body to direct risk of infection from the open wound. You might also be contagious to other users.
DON’T TOUCH THAT FACE:
Yeah, its near impossible not to. Your hands are the moat adept part of your body at picking up germs. Picture your hands haven opened grimy doors, grabbed a fistful of dirty change, touched a sweaty arm for support, turned the toilet flusher and tap. Now all the possible germs get transferred to your face while you might remember to wash your hands later. The germs cause breakouts on your face. After a few hours you take a sip of water, wipe your mouth with your hand and use the same hand to put food in your mouth. You might have unwittingly re-infected yourself with something you had washed off.
TAKE A SHOWER ALREADY:
It’s quite simple really, you’re all sweaty and grimy. Just take a shower already.
We care about your overall health. You will do so too by applying some of these tips during your next gym visit.