Believe it or not but what could be perceived as a way of improving your health could very well be the germiest place you encounter in your day!
I’m talking about visits to the gym, swimming pool, or generally anywhere used as a workout zone with equipment. Even today in ultra-hygienic gym environments with maintained cleaning schedules and wipe down sprays on every wall, when you mix sweat with groups of people there will definitely be a germ party going on.
One study found in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine that the common cold virus was on 63% of gym equipment. Now, I don’t want to alarm you but rather let you know personal hygiene is important and there are ways to limit the spread of germs by being vigilant. If you’re looking for an excuse not to get to the gym, this one doesn’t really cut it because there ways to shield yourself from someone sharing the love..
Here are 6 ways to stop the spread of germs while you’re working out
+ First of all take a look at your own gear. Your watchband, earphones, your gym bag even. Try to give your personal belongings a good once over with a disinfectant at least once a week because we all sweat out bacteria and this could be harbouring in things you don’t really think of throwing in the wash with your workout gear. Your gym bag goes everywhere and that means the floor…which usually relates to a kitchen bench or dining table down the track…not a nice thought.
+ When was the last time you gave your water bottle a good clean out? Uh-huh, I thought so and I am guilty of this one myself. It is quite gross to see what is hiding in that pullout spout, germ city I tell you! If you don’t wash your bottle daily you may as well drink the pool water you’re swimming in. Throw them in the dishwasher or give them a good scrub with detergent or better still choose one with a screw cap that is easier to keep clean.
+ Gym mats are something you may overlook but how often do you see them having a good wipe down? Take your own and wipe after each use is a better option.
+ I have spent more time at public pools than anyone would like to care for but I also have been lucky enough not to bring anything unwanted home with me. Use your thongs in the shower, use aqua ear after each swim and cover wounds with spray bandage or wait until they are properly healed to limit infection.
+ Don’t use your face towel to wipe down gym equipment. This is really defeating the purpose and making matters worse. Have two towels handy and keep one exclusively for wiping down machines, barbells, spin bikes mats. And don’t rely on those before you to have cleaned up after themselves, everyone’s standards are different, just saying…
+ Keep some Dettol hand sanitiser handy, until you are able to make it to the shower and have a good soap up after your session. Earlier the better so you’re ridding yourself of guests that may have hitched a ride home.
All these tips, of course, are just to help with any downtime that an illness may bring. It’s just common sense really but at the same time don’t get too paranoid. That’s what our immune systems are there for.
Have you had any germy gym stories you would like to share? Perhaps you have bypassed a piece of equipment…..?