Heavy foot traffic, shared equipment, and lack of proper hygiene make gyms a breeding ground for viruses. As with all contagious diseases, understanding the threat is the first step toward preventing the disease from spreading. So stay aware, stay safe, stay healthy, by following these tips.
First off, a clean gym should provide you with all the tools to stay healthy: a water cooler to fill up bottles, antibacterial wipes or sprays, hand sanitizer, and routine cleaning by staff that focuses on disinfection.
Now what you can do to prevent illness:
- Did you know germs can transfer from the water fountain spout into your mouth or bottle if you are filling it up? Use a water bottle and fill it from a cooler.
- Wash your hands after you go to the bathroom and when you are done exercising. 30-60 seconds of scrubbing with warm soapy water.
- Make a conscious effort not to touch your face while working out.Touching your mouth, eyes, and nose is the quickest way to transfer those germs.
- Use a towel. Using a barrier between yourself and a bench or mat can decrease your chances of getting sick. Just don't use that same towel to wipe your face, you might as well just rub your face on the equipment.
- Disinfect. Germs can live anywhere people can touch. The entire gym is basically a big germ covered structure. Wiping down surfaces before and after use is key.
- We all see those individuals acting like germs don’t exist. Avoid people coughing, sneezing, or wiping their snot with their hand and then touching equipment. If they are exercising and coughing at the same time they cannot effectively cover their mouth so germs fly everywhere.
- Don't sit naked on benches, someone's dirty shoe was probably just there. Wear flip tops in the shower.
- Wash your clothes. Don't even think about not washing them. You exposed those closes to sweat, bacteria, and germs from other people. Think about where you sat... yuck.
- If you are sick- please don't take your germ out into the public. Stay home, stay hydrated, get better, and keep those germs all to yourself. It's ok to be selfish!