Help Keep Your Gym Sanitized and Germ-Free
By Stephen R. Farris
Going to the gym these days can prove quite challenging, but maybe not in the sense you might be thinking. No, we're not talking about motivational stuff here, but more plain and simple germ warfare instead.
That's right. Germs are everywhere and not just at home, work and school. They're right there in the gym, on the very equipment you work out on and in the locker room where you change in and out of your clothes. However, let's not get to the point where phobia sets in. There are many ways germs can be avoided at the gym, and it only takes a small amount of time before, during and after workouts to practice a little hygiene.
According to research and observation, over half of the people that go to the gym still do not wash their hands after using the restroom. 35 percent of men, and 25 percent of women confess to not wiping down equipment they used. Pretty scary, right?
What Should I Be Aware Of?
You should be aware of staph bacteria, fungal infections and viruses (more closely, the human papillomavirus [HPV] and herpes simplex virus type I). They can be found on the equipment you handle and sit on, or benches you lie on and floors or mats.
What Can I Do?
It's important to practice sanitary hygiene, especially around groups of other people such as those at a gym, or school and on the job. Regardless, you should not be deterred from going and getting your workout in. Just remember to use a little common sense and precaution. Make sure you take a towel or two with you to the gym. Keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer handy. Always wear shoes when walking on gym floors or in the locker room. If you swim, keep a pair of slip-proof water socks to wear around the pool, so your bare feet don't come into direct contact with flooring.
First and foremost, when you are sick, stay home! You can still find a way to work out at home. Secondly, remember those towels? Keep one for wiping the sweat from your body and use the other to wipe down surfaces that you use or come into contact with, prior to and after working out. Always wash your hands after using the restroom and make use of the hand sanitizer after handling equipment. Do your part in helping to keep the gym you work out in as germ-free as possible.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.