Good Gym Hygiene - PIH Health

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Published on March 28, 2016

Good Gym Hygiene

woman at the gym

Woman at the gymYou’re going to the gym to get and stay fit — that’s great! Now let’s make sure you also stay healthy. Gyms can expose you to thousands of germs, bacteria and viruses, from the equipment and the showers to the person standing (and sweating) next to you.  

Good gym hygiene is important if you want to avoid getting sick. Even the cleanest of gyms can’t completely eliminate all potential infection and illness-causing agents. There’s just too much going on all the time, so it’s up to you to do your part.

What To Do:

The number one thing to keep in mind is cleanliness:

  • wash your hands or use sanitizer before you touch your face, especially if you’re touching work-out machines
  • wipe down equipment before using it
  • change out of your sweaty clothes and socks right away and wash them after every use; sweaty clothes and socks make good breeding grounds for bacteria

What Not To Do:

  • don’t shower barefoot at the gym; use flip flops to avoid catching athlete’s foot or other fungal foot infections
  • don’t go to the gym if you’re sick to avoid spreading your germs to others
  • don’t use public pools if you have an open wound or skin infection; you expose yourself to increased risk of infection from what may be in the pool and you also expose others to your condition

Remember to Hydrate…Healthily

Drink plenty of water when you’re working out, but do so mindfully:

  • opt for glass or metal water bottles instead of plastic because plastic tends to hold bacteria
  • avoid the water fountain — it’s one of the most unsanitary spots in the gym

A final tip: if you’re thinking about joining or switching gyms, check things out thoroughly first. Look at the condition of the equipment, the bathrooms, the sinks and toilets, etc. The cleanliness of the place is just as important as the look of it.

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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