“Bug Season”

how-to-deal-with-a-busy-gym-graphics-3

It’s always the “bug season” down at the gym, so beware!

There’s a cliché out there about staying out of hospitals because germs gather there. It’s misleading, of course, because hospitals typically take extra care to clean everything thoroughly.  But it’s also true. Most hospital executives steer clear of questions about staph infections, for instance.

Same goes for gymnasiums. There was an interesting item in Parade magazine recently by Leslie Goldman tagged “Gym Germs” that should be noted by everyone who enjoys a good workout in public facilities.

“Muscles aren’t the only things you can get at the gym,” the writer notes. “The close quarters, plus the prevalence of sweat, leaves you vulnerable to germs and infections. In fact, a University of California, Irvine, study found that staphylococcus bacteria easily survives on gym equipment and locker room benches even after being sanitized.”

These bacteria are commonly found on human skin, and can cause problems when they enter the bloodstream through cuts and blisters especially in the nose area.

Also prevalent on gym equipment including free weights and machines are traces of rhinovirus, which is responsible for common colds. This germ typically enters the body through the eyes, nose and mouth.  So practice swabbing down all gym equipment with a disinfectant before and after use.  Hand sanitizer is OK if used abundantly.

And the showers area is another place to visit with care.   Foot fungus and plantar warts just thrive in warm, moist environments.  So don’t forget to wear your flip-flops.  Gym bags and towels are also havens for nasty germs.  So bring some clean plastic bags for used towels and an anti-germ spray for your backpack.  Mold spores multiply rapidly, so don’t delay doing your cleaning once you get back home.

Lisa Burbage

Comments are closed.