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Good Hygiene Habits at the Gym

Germs are just everywhere, aren't they? Lurking all over your living room, your office cubicle, your cafeteria table, your seat on the bus - and, yes, even the gym which you've been frequenting lately. And it's not difficult to see why, what with everyone sharing practically everything, from exercise equipment to the bathroom to the drinking fountain. 
 
But very often, we are so engrossed in working out that we fail to realize just how potent a breeding ground for germs the gym can be. While these germs are not likely to cause serious harm, they can increase our risk of infection - whether it's the flu or some irritating rash. 
 
This is where good gym hygiene comes in. Maintaining proper hygiene can significantly limit our germ exposure. Here are a few hygiene tips to abide by the next time you go to the gym:
 
Wash those hands!
It may seem like an obvious must-do, but you'll be surprised at how often we forget to do just that. So, remember to wash your hands before and after each exercise session. Scrub your hands with plenty of soap and water for at least 20 seconds (that's roughly the time it takes to sing 'Happy Birthday' twice). 
 
Sanitize  
Always have a sanitizer with you when at the gym. Sanitizers don't just come in handy when you haven't got access to water and soap for hand washing, but also for wiping down equipment before and after exercising.
 
Have a break
You might dislike having your fitness regimen interrupted, but it'd be wiser to remain home instead of hitting the gym when you are down with a cold. You'll probably end up infecting your gym buddies with your germs. 
 
Cover up ...
Your wounds, that is. If you've an open wound, cover it with a water-proof bandage. You never know when your wound might come in contact with an infection source.
 
Clean your bag
Moist, filthy bags are hot spots for thriving fungi. So, when you're done exercising, don't throw your sweaty sportswear and sneakers in your bag and leave them there until your next workout session. Instead, pack your dirty gear in a plastic bag before placing them in your gym bag. This helps keep your gym bag dry and less prone to germs. 
 
Sources: http://www.healthtoday.net, www.livestrong.com and www.webmd.com

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