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9 Ways to Avoid Germs at the Gym


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A position paper by the National Athletic Trainers' Association emphasizes that people who work out in communal settings (such as a gym) are at risk for skin infections and other infectious diseases. With our busy schedules, we try to get in and out of the gym as quickly as possible while getting a decent workout and often forgetting to sweat the details when it comes to avoiding germs that could lead to the common cold or a potentially dangerous infection such as antibiotic-resistant staph (MRSA).

Follow these 10 no-brainer tips from Brian B. Adams, MD, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Cincinnati, to minimize your risk:

1. Cover cuts with Band-Aids. This includes small breaks in the skin such as hangnails or dry, cracked skin.

2. Spray down machines--cardio and strength--even if they don't "look" sweaty. Most gyms have disinfectant available as points throughout the gym. Use it, says Adams. For best results, spray disinfectant directly on equipment, not on towels. And to make sure it kills the germs, let it sit on the surface for a couple of minutes before wiping it down with a clean cloth.

3. Never let your bare feet hit the floor--that includes showers, locker rooms, and pool decks, especially. "Always keep your sandals on," says Adams. "Make it so routine that when you forget to wear them it feels like you are driving without your seatbelt on."

4. Shower before you leave the gym. Wash feet last (including between your toes!), and dry well as bacteria and fungus thrive in moist, warm environments.

5. Bring a separate bag for sweaty, dirty gym clothes. Bacteria and fungus love sweat, they feed on it. When they're fat and happy, you're more likely to get sick. Or, at the least, they'll make your gym bag smell bad.

6. Interrogate the staff. Before signing up for a gym membership, ask how often they clean equipment and what type of products they use, and insist on seeing their cleaning schedule. If they can't show you one, most likely they're lax about it. Find a different facility.

7. BYO face towel to wipe your body's sweat. God knows how many hands (and floors) have touched the towels piled at the front desk or stashed in the corner.

8.  Avoid touching your face or eyes with your hands after touching any communal surfaces like machines or equipment.  Chances are, you are not the first one stepping on that Arc Trainer today…

9. Bring your own mat. Studies have shown that gym mats are among the dirtiest areas of the gym--even showing traces of fecal matter. Gross!  Wash your mat once a week (most are machine washable) to knock out whatever germs it picked up from the gym floor.

For more tips on CYBEX equipment and beyond, check out our new video gallery!

Holly Aglialoro
Guest Blogger and Fitness Enthusiast


Useful information you shared regarding Gym cleanliness. No doubt a clean gym is the main factor of attracting customers..I am very happy to read this article..  
Keep posting thumbs up.
Posted @ Monday, January 13, 2014 6:35 AM by Gym Wipes
Totally agree with your point "With our busy schedules, we try to get in and out of the gym as quickly as possible while getting a decent workout" 
Good to have these useful tips. Keep posting thumbs up...
Posted @ Friday, January 24, 2014 2:08 AM by Sanitizing Wipes
It's that time of year when people head to the gym to work off some holiday pounds. But if you aren't careful, you may pick up a germ or two while trying to lose weight. 
one in three people in the United States suffers from a skin disease that can be spread to others. 
Glad to know these useful tips thumbs up!
Posted @ Sunday, January 26, 2014 11:27 PM by Hand Wipes
We all know that people love to spend time in fitness centers in order to live healthier lives, but what many people don’t know is that fitness centers are ideal places for germs and bacteria to thrive. 
Good read!
Posted @ Friday, February 07, 2014 4:12 AM by Gym Wipes In Your Gym
Wonderful fitness tips for girls,daily i saw your blogs in internet you are sharing best combinations,especially i like your suggestions. Thank you 
Posted @ Wednesday, February 12, 2014 5:29 AM by group deal sites
Sweat, abrasions, and direct or indirect contact with the lesions and secretions of others combine to make gym-goers' skin vulnerable to a host of problems. 80% of all infectious diseases are transmitted by contact. 
Excellent read!
Posted @ Wednesday, February 12, 2014 5:44 AM by Reasons to Add Gym Wipes
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