While the gym is the perfect place to improve your health and fitness levels, it can also be a haven for many germs, viruses, and injuries if you are not careful. For this reason, you must proactively care for your health when working out.
To ensure you remain in tip-top condition when pumping weights, hitting the treadmill, or operating a rowing machine, here are some top tips on how to stay healthy at the gym.
Bring Your Own Gym Equipment
While many gyms will effectively sanitise their equipment, not all will follow the same hygiene standards, which can make a facility a haven for germs. To protect your health when working out, you should bring your own gym equipment with you.
For instance, take your own workout mat when enjoying a Pilates or yoga class, which you should wipe down with soap and water after each session. You also should bring your own water bottle over sharing a water fountain, as many members might use this.
Wipe Down the Machines Before and After a Workout
Think about how many people have held onto a treadmill’s handlebars throughout the day. Unfortunately, common infections can be passed on via surfaces, which could lead to you developing a cold or flu virus once you have left the gym.
Protect your health at the gym by cleaning equipment both before and after you use it. For example, you should use sanitising wipes to clean any surface you plan to touch before working out.
Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard During a Session
While you might want to push yourself harder in the gym each session, you must avoid overexerting yourself, which could lead to an accident or injury. For example, running too fast on a treadmill could ultimately lead to an unwanted quad pain/strain, and it could take weeks for you to fully recover from the injury. It is essential to avoid pushing yourself too hard at the gym, which can impact your physical health and your future performance.
Ask About Your Gym’s Cleaning Practices
If you are concerned about bacteria at your gym, ask a facility about their hygiene practices to ensure they have established a regular cleaning routine. For example, do they clean every workout mat borrowed by a member after each session, and do they have specific towels for wiping down exercise bikes and treadmills?
Don’t be scared to ask how often the facility and equipment is deep cleaned, which will provide you with some peace of mind when using their equipment and amenities.
Keep Your Feet Covered
It is essential to keep your feet covered when at the gym. For example, you should always wear flip-flops when in the shower, and you should wear them until you step barefoot onto your own yoga mat. This will prevent you from encountering athlete’s foot or a nail infection, as the fungus can, unfortunately, live on surfaces for a long time, even if a floor looks clean at first glance.