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Guest post by Amelia Wood: 4 Sure Ways to Fight Germs at the Gym this Cold and Flu Season

Exercising is a great way to help boost your immunity and make you less susceptible to flu and cold viruses this season. However, some—even the habitual treadmill runners and Zumba cardio dancers—can still get infected. In fact some hardcore exercise buffs will choose to “sweat out” their illness at your local gym this season or will end up passing germs during the incubation period unknowingly.

While knowing that the equipment at your local gym could potentially have germs may sound repulsing, this shouldn’t dissuade you from getting in your daily exercise. Instead, you need to be proactive about the situation and do the best you can to make sure that you’re protecting yourself.

For starters, it’s best to try and workout at home if you’re feeling a bit under the weather to reduce the chances of your illness spreading to others. Secondly you need to make sure that you have a healthy gym practices to safe guard your immunity.

Wipe Down Equipment, before and after use. Most gyms provide disinfecting and sanitizing spray at various areas around the facility, typically near the communal water fountain(s). Use the product and wipe down the handrails, seats, and other topical surfaces that people generally touch before you start to use a specific piece of equipment. To be courteous, make sure to wipe down the surfaces again after you’re done using it.  If your gym does not provide disinfectant, then carry some disinfecting wipes in your gym bag. Hand sanitizer is also highly recommended which should be used each time you finish using a piece of equipment.

Don’t Touch your Face, even if sweating. The cold virus seeps into your body when you touch your face, nose, and mouth. If you need to wipe away sweat, use a clean towel you’ve brought from home. On a similar note, try to bring your own clean (filled) water bottle so that you don’t have to use the communal water fountain, which is typically touched by hundreds in a single say depending on the size of your gym.

Wash Hand with Warm Water, before and after exercise. Even if you use hand sanitizer, you want to make sure that you wash your hands with warm water and really scrub the tops, palms, and under the nails to remove any lingering germs.

Eat Immunity Boosting Foods, as pre or post workout snacks. To help give your immunity an extra layer of protection, you’ll also want to incorporate foods that can help give you a better defense system, such as foods that contain vitamin c. Luckily, some of these foods also speed up your metabolism, which can help you burn more calories in the end.

Do you have any other tips? Please share!

About the author

Amelia Wood is a health writer for Medicalbillingandcoding.org. In her free time she enjoys running and playing with her two dogs. She welcomes your feedback.

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