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How to Avoid Germs at the Gym

The cold temps are moving in and it's that time of year for colds and the flu. To prevent getting the sniffles, sore throat, and achiness, you've got to avoid the germs. It's not enough to watch out for germy places in your home. You've also got to beware of places that are shared by tons of people, and for FitSugar readers, that means the gym. Yours may seem neat and clean, but that doesn't mean it's germ-free. So here are some ways to avoid the invisible creepy crawlies that can make you sick.

  • Spray down all equipment before you use it with disinfectant spray. It may be a rule at your gym that you have to clean equipment after you use it, but who knows if the person before you remembered, or how thorough they were. Wipe down everything you touch including handles on weight machines and dumbbells, yoga balls, and buttons on the displays.
  • Purchase your own mat for yoga, Pilates, or strength training. They're sweat on by many, and rarely get washed.
  • If you're a major germaphobe, pack along other equipment like weights and resistance bands.
  • Bring your own towel from home to wipe off your sweat or to use after you shower. The gym towels are supposedly clean, but you never know.

Keep reading for more tips on avoiding gym germs.

  • Refrain from touching your mouth, nose or eyes while working out.
  • Wash your hands often, or use hand sanitizer.
  • Keep a towel between you and the seat in the sauna.
  • Fill up a reusable water bottle at home, and bring it to the gym. Germs can pass easily from a person's mouth, to their water bottle, then to the fountain tap and back to another bottle, and to another person's mouth, if people hold their bottles against the tap when filling them. Gross.
  • Shower immediately after working out to get rid of germs. If you can't, be sure to wash your hands and face, place your sweaty clothes in a plastic bag, and put on a clean outfit.
  • Wear flip-flops in the shower to avoid picking up athlete's foot.
Image Source: Getty
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cg130 cg130 7 years
That's exactly why I was thinking of buying my own yoga mat!
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
I kinda agree with Spectra. I don't agree with disinfecting everything, I mean, that's what immune system is for right? But I do agree with flip flops in the shower, athletes foot is just nasty..
Spectra Spectra 7 years
Oh, come on, seriously??? The water fountain transmitting germs to your water bottle? That's actually false...on "Food Detectives" they found that the drinking fountains that are in public places don't really harbor any bacteria, but if you have one of those water cooler dispenser things, those can transfer some bacteria to your bottle. But it seems a little bit overkill to advocate sterilizing everything you come in contact with. Spray down your equipment when you're done, wash your hands when you leave (don't most people generally shower after working out anyway?) and don't touch your hands to your mouth or nose or eyes while you're working out. Sheesh, germs are everywhere, avoiding them is kind of futile.
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