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Germs at the Gym

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How to Be Germ-Free

Squeaky-Clean Strategies

Follow this quick checklist to stay healthy while you work out.

  • Cover any cuts or broken skin with a bandage before you go to the gym.
  • Wash your hands before and after your workout.
  • Wipe down machines before and after use.
  • Bring your own water bottle, towels, and exercise mat.
  • Never share your towels.
  • Don't sit on the locker-room bench naked.
  • Always wear flip-flops in the locker room and shower.
  • Don't shave at the gym or immediately before going there.
  • Whenever possible, shower at home after your workout.
  • Keep dirty clothes and sneakers in separate gym bag compartments or place sweaty duds in a plastic bag.
  • Wipe down your gym bag with a disinfectant spray and wash gym clothes after each use.
  • Examine your skin weekly. If you find a painful red spot or a bump, see a doc. It could be a MRSA infection, which needs immediate treatment.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, October 2012.


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hminniti3021919 wrote:

I agree totally ...keep safe.

1/19/2014 11:13:55 PM Report Abuse
robmarriv wrote:

Very good information I always wipe down machine and weights wash hands I see many people who DO NOT !!!

11/4/2013 10:25:20 AM Report Abuse
hanleeee wrote:

Regardless whether you have an invincible immune power, should you have a skin break, germs will enter your body. I am wiping excercise machines' contact parts before and after I use them.

11/3/2013 03:21:32 PM Report Abuse
osillyme2002 wrote:

While it is true that with a healthy immune system this shouldn't be a big deal, there are 'superbugs' out there that cannot be fought off by even the healthiest immune systems. MRSA is more common than ever. People can be colonized with MRSA with no symptoms; while others become ridden with cysts and septic once it gets into their bloodstream. It is still, as always, a good idea to wash your hands often and wipe off all equipment before and after use.

11/3/2013 11:58:33 AM Report Abuse
rebeccarybak wrote:

I don't think anyone is trying to make anyone paranoid. Any surface that is used by dozens of people is full of germs. It's common sense. Wipe things down before and after if you feel- but most important is wash your hands- just like anywhere else.

11/3/2013 10:57:02 AM Report Abuse

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