Gymming is a great activity to indulge in, not just for building an attractive body but also for improving your general health and fitness levels.
Working out in a public gym has many advantages, for example:
- becoming motivationally driven by watching others work out next to you
- not experiencing the monotony of working out alone at home
- social interaction
That said, a public gym is also a place where you come in close contact with all kinds of people.
Gym cleanliness and hygiene in a public gym can easily get compromised if the gym owners are not careful about following basic gym hygiene practices.
With people soaked in sweat after a workout and sharing gym equipment, sauna cabins, Jacuzzi and shower areas, the moist surroundings of the gym make it a perfect breeding ground for germs, bacteria and fungii — unless constant attention is paid to maintaining gym hygiene around the clock.
Maintaining hygiene at gym is, however, not solely the responsibility of the gym owners alone. Gym visitors too must learn and follow the basic gym hygiene etiquette not only during workout but also after a workout. Attention must also be paid to your gym towel hygiene and your gym bag hygiene.
Here are some tips that you can follow to improve your gym hygiene and prevent a hazard. These tips will help you avoid contracting contagious conditions like fungal infections of the skin (athlete’s foot and ringworm), viral infections (cold, flu and viral fever), and bacterial infections (food poisoning, boils on the skin, or any other infection caused by staphylococcus bacteria).
To start with, here are some tips on the things to carry in your gym bag.
Must-have things in gym bag
- Hand sanitizer. Carrying a bottle of hand sanitizer in your gym bag is an absolutely essential part of your gym hygiene exercise. Clean your hands with the sanitizer before and after your workout.
- Gym Wipes. Use these sanitizer wipes on gym equipment. Before using any gym equipment, use these to wipe the parts that will come in direct contact with your body, such as the handle bars and the seat of an exercise machine, to make sure that they are hygienic. Most likely, the previous user would have left it unclean and sweaty. Do the same after your workout to leave the equipment clean for the next user.
- Personal towel. A shower after the workout is a must to feel fresh and rejuvenated. Though most gyms provide towels, it is advisable to carry your own in the gym bag.
But make sure that the used wet towels and sweaty exercise clothing do not remain lying in the gym bag for long. Empty the plastic bag containing these items straight into the washing machine on reaching home.
- Water bottle. It is always advisable to carry your own sports water bottle, preferably a non-plastic one, and not drink water from a drinking-water fountain in the gym.
- A change of clothing. It seems too obvious even to mention this item here, but sometimes the most obvious things can be most easily overlooked. So, don’t forget to carry a set of clean clothes to wear after workout and shower. Imagine if you would have to wear sweaty and stinky clothes after a refreshing shower.
- Flip-flops or shower shoes. Carrying a pair of flip-flops or shower shoes for use in the shower rooms is a good gym shower hygiene practice that can reduce your risk of getting athlete’s foot.
Do’s and don’ts of gym hygiene
- If you have any cut or open wound, cover it up with a wash-proof antiseptic tape before starting the workout.
- Don’t forget to sanitize your hands and the equipment before and after use.
- Do not allow anyone to use your personal hygiene items like towels and water bottle. Nor must you use others’.
- Carry your own clean exercise mat for doing yoga or floor exercises.
- Drink water from your own water bottle rather than from a water fountain.
- Keep your gym bag clean and dry. A moist and dirty bag provides a perfect hotbed for fungus growth. It is prudent to put used gym clothes in a plastic bag first rather than dumping them directly in the gym bag. The same goes for your exercise shoes and bathroom slippers.
- Absolutely shun entering a Jacuzzi or any kind of common pool if you have an open wound or a cut, or a skin infection. Not only would that spread infection to others, it can also make your own wound or infection worse because of the germs already present.
- Avoid going to the gym if you have any kind of a contagious infection. You sure don’t want to spread your germs to others around you. Infections spread easily indoors due to the closed ambience. If you feel the need for some kind of a light exercise, take a walk in the fresh air of outdoors.
You already are pumping up your body, now we’ve shown you how to do it in a hygienic way.
Image Credit: rackcdn.com
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