27 Nov 2020
COVID-19 has made us all more conscious of hygiene, particularly in public places like the gym. To ensure the safety of members while maintaining compliance with public health measures, gyms have had to crack down on dirty habits. This means it’s more important than ever to know the basics of gym hygiene.
To keep up with hygiene standards, these tips will help you avoid spreading germs while working out.
Yes, if you follow social distancing and personal hygiene guidelines. To find out what restrictions may apply to gyms in your local area, visit the Department of Health for up to date information.
You should have been doing this even before the pandemic, but it’s especially important now. Bacteria and viruses can easily make themselves at home on the surfaces of gym equipment, creating the perfect environment for germ transmission. Wiping down the machine with disinfectant will effectively kill off any nasties. If you’re not sure how to clean gym equipment, simply ask a staff member for advice.
Always wash your hands before and after every gym session. Having clean hands at the start of your workout will limit the number of germs you bring into the gym and washing them afterwards will prevent you from taking bugs home. Avoid touching your face too, as your eyes, nose, and mouth provide a pathway for viruses to reach your throat and lungs.
Communal yoga mats may be convenient, but they’re no longer considered safe. Just like gym machines, yoga mats can harbour potentially dangerous bacteria. Bringing your own mat and towel will significantly reduce the number of germs you’re exposed to during a workout.
This should go without saying but be sure to wash your gym clothes after every workout. Soap and hot water will get rid of germs that may be clinging to your clothes, not to mention any bad odours. Washing your gym towel is also essential, especially if you’ve been using it to wipe down after sweaty workouts.
Whether it’s a tickly throat, upset stomach or mysterious rash, any sign of illness should stop you from going to the gym. Even if you’re only mildly unwell, stay home to protect yourself and other gym members. Missing a few workouts is a far better option than being responsible for making other people sick.
Try and avoid touching the gym’s changing room floor with your bare feet, even while showering. Fungal infections like athlete’s foot can spread easily in damp environments, so it’s important to protect your feet. Wear thongs in the shower and always dry your feet thoroughly.
We all have a part to play in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. You might not feel there’s a lot you can do in the face of a global pandemic, but adopting these hygiene habits will go a long way to protecting yourself and your fitness community.
If you’re not ready to head back to the gym yet, check out our Complete Guide to Home Workouts.
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