It’s winter and many people are taking their workouts indoors…and that’s okay…but do you know what might be lurking in your gym?
Over the past several years experts have issued warnings about what might be lurking in your “health club.” The main culprits? Bacteria, viruses, fungi and in some cases, the “Super Bug” MRSA.
Indoor gyms can be a breeding ground for germs. That’s because there are plenty of warm, moist areas that are the perfect breeding ground for all kinds of germs. The Super Bug MRSA has been spreading in health clubs, causing antibiotic-resistant staph infections. The super bug was at one time linked to a Capitol Hill Gym, where a House staff member was infected.
The problem stems from the actual act of exercising – people sweat, cough, or sneeze, leaving behind germs than can spread the common cold, influenza, skin infections, and many other types of disease. Health officials warn that breaking a sweat super-hydrates the skin making it easier to develop blisters and allow penetration of the bugs.
How to Avoid the Bug
When it comes to your gym workouts, what’s your best defense against infections and disease? Prevent them from happening in the first place—with regular hand washing, using soap and water, suds-ing long enough to sing the “Happy Birthday” song.
• Use a towel in the gym to wipe down machinery and equipment before and after use.
• When soap and water aren’t readily available, alcohol-based hand-sanitizing gels can offer protection.
Avoid Gym Germs Altogether – Take it Outside!
You know, I have a better idea, rather than spending your money and time (and possibly risking your health) going to and from the gym, why not just take it outside?
Let’s face it, with little mental stimulation coming from indoor weight machines, treadmills and stationary bikes – too often the boredom factor sets in – and that’s when many people fall out of their fitness routine.
What’s more, your body is smart, very smart. And given the repetitive motion that happens with machines and gym equipment, your body goes on auto-pilot and stops short of your full potential. Now, factor in the stale air and artificial light and it’s no wonder why. The downside and negative fall out to the gym setting is clear, and Outdoor Fitness is the answer — even during winter months.
You also do your lungs a favor when you exercise outdoors: According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air is 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air (meaning the outdoor air is 75% less polluted than indoor air!).