When you go to the gym your motivation is usually pretty narrowly focused on getting fitter, or as some would say, healthier. But have you ever stopped to think about your immunological health during those long, sweaty gym sessions?
Follow these simple tips and you’ll not only protect yourself, but you’ll be doing a favor to everyone working out alongside of you.
If you shower at your gym or take part in exercises like Yoga where you may be barefoot, I’d highly recommend bringing a pair of sandals or flip-flops with you. The showers at the gym can prove to be a breeding ground for things like Athlete’s Foot but this can be easily prevented by putting those few inches of shoe between your floor and the soles of your feet. This also applies if you’re taking part in a Yoga class or other exercise where you remove your shoes and you decide to leave your workout mat.
Ever notice how after too many uses your gym bag starts to have a very distinct, “fragrant” odor? That odor is caused by the multitude of bacteria that have come to inhabit the dark, wet corners of your unclean bag.
If you’re the type to change at the gym and pack your clothes away before leaving, invest in some large plastic bags. Simply bagging up your clothing and shoes before placing them in your bag can be a huge step towards denying those bacteria a place to live and grow. It’s also more than worthwhile to take a single disinfecting cloth and wipe down the inside and outside of your bag after each trip to the gym.
The grooves, notches, and scratches that either come with our build up on a plastic water bottle can become a haven for bacteria. If you want to avoid giving these germs a free ride down the back of your throat it may be time to invest in a metal water bottle. These bottles cannot be damaged in the same way that plastic can, resulting in the microscopic divots that bacteria love to hide in.
Also, make sure you keep an eye on your bottle in general. The last thing you want is a stranger mistakenly taking a swig from your bottle.
Those containers of disinfectant wipes are in the gym for a reason. Be courteous and use them after you’re done with any equipment or machine in the gym. Not only is this the sanitary choice, you’re really just a bit of a jerk if you think anyone is going to want to use the equipment you just soaked in your own sweat.