Usually, around winter or the transitioning of seasons, people get sick sharing germs unintentionally, which sounds disgusting but is part of life but we prefer to avoid it. Germs usually like moist and warm places, the gym provides a nice environment for them to make themselves at home. While in college, someone had a staph infection and the whole gym had to shut down and be sanitized so others wouldn’t get infected.
As you know, you can’t live in a bubble your whole life, what kind of life is that? So follow these simple precautions to minimize the risk or avoid getting yourself or others sick when using the gym.
Wear Proper Footwear
When walking in the locker room and taking a shower, where shower sandals, slides or flip flops to keep a barrier between you and the more than likely moist floor. When on the gym floor, keep your shoes on. You have no clue what type of fungus may be on someone’s feet.
Cover Open Wounds/Cuts
If you an open wound or cut, cover it with something that also allows it to breathe. You should definitely do this if you cut yourself working out, don’t continue on as nothing happened. Let the gym staff know and inform them if you got some blood on a piece of equipment or the floor as well. It’s ok, mistakes happen.
Wipe Machines Off
Before and after using a piece of equipment, wife the machine off. Some people are heavy sweaters and/or may have an infection their unaware that may be contagious.
No Multiuse Towels
Don’t sneeze, cough and/or blow your nose in the same towel that you wipe equipment off with or lay on equipment. The towel will just hold onto the germs and spread throughout the gym doing this. If you’re that sick, end your workout for the day.
Wear Clean Clothes
Wear clean clothes to the gym, don’t keep putting on the same gym outfit without washing it. In addition, the clothes most likely smell, good body odor before coming to the gym would be ideal.
Cough or Sneeze in Your Arm
Do not cough or sneeze in your hand then proceed with touching everything in the gym. This is not cool, take second and visualize someone doing that on a piece of equipment you want to use.
Don’t Touch your Face
You have been using all types of equipment in the gym and so has everyone else. Therefore you’ve probably touched someone germs along the line. The last thing you want to do is starting rubbing and touching parts of your face, especially the eyes and mouth. They’re a good place of entry for germs.
Since you must touch equipment to use it, why not just wear gloves. You can buy traditional weight lifting gloves or use sports gloves as I do sometimes. I prefer to wear football gloves because I like to be able to feel what I’m touching. Also, gloves can help prevent calluses from forming on your hand when lifting weights.
If you are already sick and know what you have is contagious, just stay home. Also, maybe you should pay your doctor a visit. Missing a workout or two won’t kill your gains or progress.
Use Floor Matts
Again, place a barrier between you and the floor when feasible. Think about all the places people’s shoes have been and the sweat that drips on it. If you used an ultraviolet light on the floor, you would grab a matt fast. The gym is a high foot traffic area, think about it.
Wash Your Hands
After using the restroom, getting something on your hands and so on, just go wash your hands. It won’t take long at all, just leave a towel on the equipment you’re using to reserve it. You can keep a travel-size hand sanitizer on hand in your pocket, fanny pack or small gym bag.
Report the Nastiness
Report anything unsanitary that you see in the gym and that includes people but with discretion. Having a disgusting gym is not good for business or you as a customer and your experience.
This article is not to discourage you from using the gym. A gym is a great place to be and to get fit. You can get sick almost anywhere. Since you read this article you now have the tools and the know-how to still enjoy the gym without worry about those pesky gym germs.
That’s how to avoid getting yourself and others sick at the gym. If still concerned, you can always workout at home where you have more control. I still suggest you adhere to what you learned even at home.
Be Healthy, Be Balanced, Be You