Saturday, July 3, 2010

Keep it clean!

Fitness facilities promote health and wellness, but they're also a great trap for bacteria that induce illness and infection. Think about it—if your gym is anything like mine, it's always filled with sweating people. And all that sweat has to fall somewhere. Like on the dumbbells, the bike seats and especially the yoga mats. While some of us pay our respects to etiquette by wiping down every piece of equipment we use, others don't. So I urge you to practice safe sanitation whenever you're in a fitness facility. Starting with the use of a towel. Instead of wiping the sweat off your forehead with your forearm, use a towel. To wipe sweat with a body part is to transfer sweat to a piece of equipment in the gym, which essentially promotes the production of bacteria that someone else eventually picks up. So that also means you should put a towel in between your body and the bench, mat or seat of whatever piece of equipment you're using. Catch your sweat, and protect yourself from someone else's.

Another note about towels—they can be used to wipe down equipment, but it certainly won't be an effective wipe. Towels pick up sweat, but they leave bacteria behind. What bacteria? Try E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus. It's why every gym provides an endless supply of cleaning wipes and sprays at various locations throughout. Use them, and use them often before AND after you sweat all over the equipment.

Which brings me to one last piece of advice for the day—keep your hands away from your eyes and mouth the entire time you're at the gym. It just makes sense, really. You're there to get healthy, not sick.

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