After we consume our favorite foods and drinks during the holidays, many of us will make a New Year’s resolution to hit the gym. With more people trying to get fit, there will be more germs floating around. A new study by FitRated found that some gym equipment has 350 times more bacteria than a toilet. To stay healthy this winter, follow these tips on maintaining good hygiene at the gym.
- Wear deodorant
Wearing deodorant will help you sweat less, and controlling the transfer of sweat will lessen the spreading of germs from machine to machine.
- Wipe machines before and after use
In a study published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, 63 percent of machines that had been disinfected still had traces of rhinovirus, which causes the common cold. To ensure you are using a cleaner machine, wipe it before and after use with a disinfecting solution. Also, spray the machine first, then wipe it. Don’t spray the towel first and wipe your machine or weights. This will put the germs from your towel back onto the machine!
- Don’t go when you’re sick
Do everyone a favor and don’t bring your sickness to the gym. Try at-home workouts, or let your body rest for a few days.
- Shower shoes
Bacteria love warm, wet places. So, obviously, the shower or locker room floor can harbor all kinds of infection-causing bacteria. Wear shower shoes to delay the spread of infections such as athlete’s foot and plantar warts. Also, wearing outdoor shoes into the locker room can spread diseases such as the stomach flu and hepatitis A.
- Bring your own mat
If you like to do floor exercises, bring your own mat. This way, you can ensure your mat is clean and you will not contract infections. These spongy, porous materials harbor more bacteria than a dumbbell or machine.