Workout hygiene

Published On: January 5, 2018 08:37 AM NPT By: The Week Bureau

We all know working out is a must for health and fitness and now that the New Year is here, we are all trying to fit in an hour or two at the gym at least four to five times a week. But how many of us actually pay meticulous attention to maintaining good hygiene when we are working out? According to Manoj Katuwal, trainer at Next Fitness, if you aren’t careful about working out in hygienic conditions then you might have to face many bothersome health problems as the days go by. Here, Khatiwada sheds light on some basic do’s and don’t at the gym to ensure your workout is being carried out in the best possible conditions.

Cleaning your yoga mat after a workout session is a must if you don’t want to suffer from rashes and infections.
Can you imagine rolling up your sweaty workout out clothes and leaving them just like that? You wouldn’t simply roll them out the next day before your workout session and wear them again now, would you? The same principle applies to yoga mats as well. Post a workout, not only will a yoga mat be sweaty and stinky but it can also harbor bacteria and lead to a string of infections later on. Body acne is said to be quite common in those who don’t clean their yoga mats. Also, instead of using the mats provided at the gym it would also be a good idea to take your own mat with you. That way, you can be sure the mat you are using is clean and avoid unnecessary health hassles in the future. 

Change out of your gym clothes as soon as you can post workout. Don’t wear them for too long. 
Yes, you probably do look super cute and athletic in your sweatpants/yoga pants and sweatshirt and they are probably extremely comfy but the thing is that the clothes are often soaked with sweat after a good workout session. Wearing such damp clothes for too long can cause acne and yeast infections. So the wisest thing to do would be to hop into the shower and change into fresh clothes after exercising. But you also have to let your body cool down before you get into the shower or you might dilate your blood vessels too suddenly leading to a heart attack or stroke. So allow yourself sometime to cool down before stepping into the shower. 20 to 30 minutes should be more than enough.

Avoid walking into showers at the gym or the sauna barefoot.
Fungus, wart viruses, and a lot of germs thrive in damp areas like showers and saunas. And since many people use the same shower at the gym and share a sauna, you need to exercise some caution while stepping into one. Many gyms around town clean their washrooms only once a day and that’s not enough considering the footfall it gets. One of the most basic things you can do to ensure you aren’t inviting germs into your system is wearing flip-flops when you step in the shower. Also, it’s a good idea to leave the tap/show open for a minute before hopping in so that the dirty clogged water on the floor drains out a little.  

Don’t use your hands to wipe away sweat. 
This is something almost everyone who works out is guilty of at one point of time or another. If there is sweat running down your face, you instinctively wipe it away with your hands. But, at the gym, you are touching all sorts of equipment that’s been used by many people before you and no matter how clean your hands look, they are actually covered in germs and filth. Simply take a light towel with you to the gym and make sure you reach for it ever time you feel a trickle of sweat on your forehead or elsewhere. 

Clean your face right after you finish exercising.
Take about five minutes to let your skin cool down naturally after your intensive workout session and immediately clean your face. If you let your face stay in its sweaty glory for a long time it can lead to germ buildup and eventually results in rashes, acne and other – sometimes serious – skin allergies and infections. Do not even think about leaving the gym before cleaning your face properly. If you forget to pack your cleanser/face wash or are in a rush then at the very least wipe it with a wet wipe.

Wipe down the equipment before and after use
This is a very essential habit to ensure good gym hygiene. And this is important especially if you are about to use something like a bench press. If you are doing it properly, then you will leave behind a sweat pool when you get off. So the logical, hygienic, and moral thing to do would be to wipe down the equipment before and after your workout session – before because you don’t want to lie down on someone else’s pool of sweat and post because you don’t want to leave behind a sweat pool of your own for the next user.

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