A new year always brings around fresh resolutions for striving towards our healthiest selves! Often these plans include more trips to the gym, which is good because exercise is good for our physical health and mental wellbeing. But gyms can also be a place where bacteria, viruses and fungi thrive, so it’s important to take certain safeguards to lower your risk of picking up common skin infections.
- Use disinfectant wipes to clean equipment before using it, especially areas where your bare skin touches the equipment (hand grips, etc). Consider bringing your own mat for floor exercises and classes (ex. yoga, pilates).
- Never walk barefoot in a public gym. Always keep a pair of shower shoes or flip flops for use while showering or walking to/from public pools.
- Wear comfortable and moisture-wicking clothes during your work out. Loose-fitting clothing keeps your skin cool and comfortable, while too-tight clothing can irritate skin, thereby making skin more vulnerable. Moisture-wicking materials work to keep skin dry, which lessen the chance for irritation.
- Cover any open wounds with appropriate dressings (open wounds are an easy avenue for microbial infection).
- And always be sure to wash hands and shower as soon as possible after working out. Not only will your loved ones be appreciative (gym funk is just that…), but a little soap and water will help to wash off any bacteria/viruses/fungi that you might have picked up.