COVID-19 has had a significant impact on mental health. A 2021 survey showed that 41% of adult respondents reported anxiety and depressive order symptoms, which are COVID-19 related. The need for people to work on their mental health has increased, and going to the gym can be a great way to regulate hormones and boost mental health.
The gym can provide a sense of community and help people feel connected. It can also help people feel strong and capable, which can be helpful in times of stress.
The gym can also provide a sense of routine and regularity, which can be beneficial in chaos. Moreover, it can be a place to focus on self-care and positive self-talk. All of these things are essential in maintaining mental health during difficult times. However, all of these benefits can only be achieved if your gym is kept clean and hygienic at all times. It is therefore important to do your part to keep your gym and whatever equipment you use, clean and germ-free.
Keeping Your Hygiene in Check
The first step to practicing good hygiene in the gym is to ensure that your personal hygiene is always up to par. Germs and bacteria can spread quickly in gyms, so it is essential to bathe everyday and keep your nails trimmed and clean. It is also necessary to bring your own towel and toiletries, as most gyms do not typically provide these items.
Wipe Down Equipment
One of the easiest ways to contract a virus or bacteria is by touching unclean surfaces at the gym. Most gym equipment have traces of sweat, and some viruses in sweat such as the SARS-COV-1 virus means that it’s possible to get sick at the gym. To avoid getting sick, be sure to wipe down all equipment with some sort of disinfectant before and after use. While gym owners are responsible for hiring fitness center cleaning services, it is still essential to do your part to make your workout area clean and hygienic at all times for you and for the next person. Doing so reduces the chances of falling ill while you’re working on your fitness goals at the gym.
Cover Cuts and Wounds
If you have any open wounds, it is essential to cover them up with a band-aid or wrap before working out. This is to prevent any bacteria or dirt from entering open cuts and causing an infection. Also, skip the workout if you feel sick. Pushing your body when it is not at 100% can aggravate the sickness and cause others to become ill as well.
Sanitize Your Hands
One of the most common ways to get infected by germs is by touching your face, especially your nose and mouth. Staphylococcus bacteria and SARS viruses can live on gym equipment and lead to many diseases. A study by EmLab P&K found more than one million colony-forming units or CFU of bacteria per square inch on each piece of gym equipment. It is therefore essential to sanitize your hands before and after working out. Gyms will most likely have alcohol dispensers and hand sanitizers within the area; however, it is still best to carry your sanitizer to ensure cleanliness.
Work Out in Proper Clothing
Synthetic wicking workout clothes may be good for keeping sweat away from the skin, but they are not a great option for people with eczema. Eczema is a condition that causes the skin to become inflamed, red, and itchy. Tight-fitting and synthetic workout clothes may cause bacteria growth, which can exacerbate the symptoms of eczema. Cotton clothes are generally recommended to allow the skin to breathe and prevent excessive sweating which can further promote bacterial growth.
Once you’re done working out, hit the showers and use an antibacterial soap to clean your body. Be sure to scrub all areas. Keep wet clothing and towels off the floor, and place them in a separate bag or pouch before placing them in your gym bag. If you can’t take a shower, consider using body wipes to freshen up, then shower immediately once you get home.
To maintain good hygiene while working out, it is important to be aware of the best practices and follow them diligently. By being vigilant about cleanliness, you can minimize your chances of contracting a virus or bacteria while you’re at the gym.
Keep in mind that while gym owners are responsible for the overall cleanliness of the gym, you also need to do your part to maintain hygiene and cleanliness within the premises to stay healthy.