Don’t get taken in by the luxurious or swanky appearance of your gym. It can be the breeding ground for germs and bacteria that can affect your health. A survey at University Medical Center New Orlean say that gym goers do not follow very hygienic sanitary practices.
More than half of all gym-goers do not wash hands after going to the washroom. In fact, 35 per cent men said that they never wiped clean weight machines after using them and over 25 per cent women responded that they never wiped down cardio equipment.
Moreover, 38.4 per cent do not wipe down equipment in the afternoons and 21.2 per cent fail to do so in the late evening.
This is bad news indeed. You go the gym to boost your health and fitness. Instead, you may end up catching an infection. That is why it is so important to develop a healthy gym etiquette.
This will not only benefit you but also be good for other around you. Let us look at a few infections that you may pick up at the gym.
This is very common. You can acquire athlete’s foot and jock itch from the locker room. These fungi thrive on moist and wet environments. That is why you need to change once you reach home.
You need to wear shoes to keep way the human papillomavirus (HPV). This too thrives in moist and wet environments. You also need to keep the herpes simplex virus away. This may be on the mats. Another virus that you need to be careful of are airborne respiratory viruses.
What You Can Do
Researchers say that the most common infections in gyms come from Staph bacteria. MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is also a real danger. These bacteria can thrive on machines, weights and mats as well as on benches and locker rooms.
You can do this by following a basic handwashing routine. Also cover up injuries to reduce your risk of skin infection. And keep your hands away from your face while working out.
You don’t know how clean the person who used the machine before you is. Wear shoes and wipe down equipment before and after you use them. You must also bring your own towels and mats to reduce your risk of catching an infection.
Always use anti-bacterial wipes or sprays and don’t share personal items like towels with anybody. Be sure to shower after your workout to ensure that any residual germs are washed away.
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