7 Habits to Improve Your Hygiene at the Gym - PIH Health

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Published on December 15, 2016

7 Habits to Improve Your Hygiene at the Gym

Woman at the gym

Woman at the gymThe gym is a great place to exercise, but it is important to practice good gym hygiene in order to prevent illness. Every time you work out at a gym, you are exposed to thousands of germs that can increase the risk of viral, bacterial and fungal infections. However, this doesn’t mean you have to ditch the gym. According to Ali Hafezi MD, medical director of rehab services at PIH Health, practicing these seven hygiene habits will help keep those nasty germs at bay:

  1. Invest in a good water bottle. Plastic bottles hold bacteria, so it is better to buy a metal or glass bottle. Also, it is best to avoid the water fountain which is one of the most unsanitary spots in the gym.
  2. Wipe down equipment. Always bring a towel to wipe down sweaty equipment before you exercise.
  3. Keep your hands clean. One of the easiest ways of spreading germs is by touching your face with your hands. Make sure to wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer wipes or gel.
  4. Clean your dirty clothes right away. One mistake people often make is that they do not change out of their workout clothes right away. Bacteria breeds in sweaty clothes; so take a shower as soon as possible and wash your workout attire.
  5. Flip flops are your friend. Always use flip flops in gym showers and locker rooms to avoid catching athlete’s foot.
  6. Don’t go to the gym if you are sick. Avoid spreading your germs to other people. If you are not feeling well, but still want to exercise, take a walk or exercise at home.
  7. Don’t use public pools if you have an open wound or skin infection. If you have an open wound or a skin infection, avoid using public pools or hot tubs. If you do, you may transmit bacteria and be more susceptible to bacteria that are already in the water.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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