Experts warn of gym germs

Feb. 26, 2013 at 1:30 PM   |   Comments

BOSTON, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- The gym, synonymous with health and fitness, can also harbor influenza, norovirus and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a U.S. college brochure says.

"Gym Hygiene: How to Reduce the Risk of Infections in the Gym," by Simmons College in Boston points out good gym hygiene and personal cleanliness can help prevent the spread of germs, and reduce the risk of infection, including colds, athlete's foot, ringworm, influenza, norovirus and MRSA.

To prevent the transmission of germs the brochure suggests:

-- Wash or sanitize hands frequently. Sanitize hands on entering and leaving the gym. Sanitize hands after coughing and sneezing.

-- Use no-touch sinks or towel dispensers whenever possible.

-- Cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing. Use crook of elbow.

-- Wipe down equipment and mats with disinfectant spray or wipes before and after use.

-- Use your own water bottle instead of a communal water fountain.

-- Bring your own exercise mat for stretching or classes that require one.

-- Take a shower soon after exercising and change into clean, dry clothes.

-- Wear water shoes or flip flops in the bathroom and shower.

-- Wash and dry gym clothes and swimsuits after each use.

-- Cover any breaks in the skin with a water-proof bandage.

-- Do not use whirlpools or common pools if you have an open wound, skin or gastro-intestinal infection.

-- Always use a clean towel.

-- Do not share headbands, towels, water bottles, goggles, soap, razors, brushes, combs or any other item that may come in contact with someone else's skin.

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