Even though your risk is relatively low of actually catching a really nasty bug at the gym, here are some tips to avoid bringing germs home with you:
- Try not to touch anything above your neck while working out. Germs can easily enter the body through the eyes, mouth and nose. So, each time you set down that kettlebell and rub your eyes, you’re setting yourself up for an infection later on. Try to be cognizant of what you touch (and don’t touch!).
- Make sure you don’t have any exposed cuts that may come into contact with a germy surface. What may seem like a minor scrape is just another way for bacteria to enter the body. If you have a cut on your hand, consider wearing weight-lifting gloves. Not only will they give you a better grip, but they will lessen the chance of germs invading your body.
- Immediately after your workout, head straight for the antibacterial gel or the sink to wash your hands with soap and water. Your hands are going to get dirty while working out, and that’s okay, but it becomes a problem when you take those dirty hands home with you.
- Be sure to wash your gym towel often. It may be your personal towel, but it will be coming into contact with potentially germy surfaces during your workout.
You’ll notice lots of box gyms have members that leave pools of sweat after they’ve used shared equipment and machines. Since the staff in these busy facilities are less likely to realize what is happening, your chances of picking up a set of unsanitized weights is quite likely. At Inspired by Fitness, we lead by example, and every class/session ALWAYS ends with all equipment and machines be wiped down.
Yes, gyms can be germy, but don’t let that scare you away from taking positive steps to preserve your health!