Gyms and their locker rooms can be breeding grounds for different viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Here are some gym workout habits you should have for personal hygiene
The importance of personal hygiene should be a no-brainer—especially after the pandemic scared us all into having hand hygiene. However, with the viral TikToks about people getting infections from their gyms, it’s clear to see that not everyone is on the same page about gym hygiene and etiquette.
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Note that this isn’t meant to dissuade you from hitting the gym. Exercising at gyms provides great physical, mental, and social benefits that many of us can’t live without. All we’re advocating for is to practice better personal hygiene for your safety and for others. With that, here’s a roundup of good gym hygiene tips you should follow.
Pre-workout hygiene tips
Part of having good gym hygiene is having a fully-stocked personal hygiene kit, complete with things like sanitizer and body wash. There should also be a personal water bottle and towel for your sweat in your gym bag. And in preparation for the shower room, you’ll need another towel and maybe even a third if you plan to sit on the public sauna benches.
Preparing a small bag to keep all your soiled clothes and towels in is also important so you can keep these from contaminating the rest of your things. Likewise, bring a personal mat or another towel with you if you plan on doing any floor exercises. The point is to keep your body from touching the floor.
Additionally, don’t forget to cover up any cuts and skin breaks with waterproof bandages. And if you have an open wound or infection, avoid using the common areas for your health and others.
Lastly, don’t even think about walking barefoot in the gym. Wear footwear at all times, especially in the shower room, so bring flip-flops for that as well. This way, you won’t risk getting fungi, athlete’s foot, and other nasty skin issues.
Gym hygiene tips
Firstly, use what’s in your personal hygiene kit to disinfect everything you’ll sit on and grab onto. Use what you have to wipe down the equipment before and after use. Focus on the areas your skin and your clothes will be touching, and if you’re looking for a place to rest your towel on, wipe that area down, too, before letting your towel touch it.
Don’t forget to practice hand hygiene as well. Wash your hands regularly and keep them away from your face. And if you can’t quickly wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer. Feel free to offer anyone an extra antibacterial wipe or a spritz from your sanitizing spray, but personal care items like towels, soap, and brushes shouldn’t be shared.
Moreover, if you’re at the gym and spot someone displaying symptoms like coughing and sneezing, avoid the areas they’ve been in and the equipment they’ve touched for a minute or two after they’ve left.
Post-workout hygiene tips
When you’ve finished exercising, take a shower as soon as you can to ward off any germs. If you’ll use the gym shower, don’t forget the flip-flops, towel, and body wash.
Once you’re all clean and your used clothes and towels are neatly packed away, wash what you’ve used when you get home. It’s also recommended that you wash and dry your clothes, and disinfect your footwear on a regular basis.