As life starts taking steps heading back to normality, there are going to be plenty of precautions put in place for the foreseeable future. Everyone’s hygiene and how they take care of themselves is going to be paramount in the bid to ensure we don’t enter a second pandemic, and ensure any unwanted germs can’t spread as freely as beforehand.
One of the biggest places for the spreading of germs is the gym. Just think about how many people have used and had their sweaty paws over the machines and weights that you’re now picking up and touching. Not a nice thought eh? Now we don’t want to scare you from ever returning to your place of exercise, but we would like to pass on a few tips as to how you keep clean and protect yourself and others from germs when you do make a return.
Wipe it down
At some point within our stint in the gym, we’ve sweated over the machines, we’ve all done it and we’ll probably do it again, it’s expected. However, the next steps you take is what really matters. Although you really should have been doing this beforehand, it’s vital that from now on you ensure you properly wipe down the equipment you’ve been using. Now this doesn’t mean get your sweaty towel that’s been around your head and give the handles a quick wipe, as that’s really only just moving the bacteria from one surface to the next, moving what was on you onto the machine, and even vice versa. Instead, try getting some anti-bacterial spray and kitchen roll / tissue and wipe it down properly, which I expect every gym will now be prepared with. Ideally, the perfect practice would be to wipe down the equipment both before and after you use it, but we understand that this may not always be feasible, especially considering it’s natural to get on, use it and move on. So bare that in mind, that someone else won’t want to be putting their hands in your germs just as much as you don’t want to be palming theirs!
Keep your hands clean
Similarly to wiping down the machines, it’s also a smart move to wipe down your own hands, and take them into your own accountability. Now this doesn’t mean you have to run to the bathroom after each rep and get them under the hot tap with soap, but literally carry a small bottle of the anti-bacterial hand gels that you don’t even need to wipe off. By doing this, it means whenever you change equipment you can wash your hands, taken a maximum of 30 seconds, hardly an inconvenience.
Take a shower
Probably the hardest to carry out due to how people feel about being naked / showering outside of their own home but another useful tip is to shower at the gym. If there’s a chance that someone hasn’t cleaned the machine properly and you’ve gone onto use it, before leaving the gym and got into your car, there’s a chance that you’re carrying them germs…now you can see how quickly germs can spread, as well as potentially and probably being there the next time you and others enter that vehicle. After exercising in a shared space, a good idea would be to take a shower, simply wash away any germs that you may have encountered during your workout, as well as any bodily fluids such as sweat.
Wash your bag
How many times have you got changed after working out and put your used, sweaty clothes into your bag, before taken them out when you’ve got home…fast forward to tomorrow and you’ve simply put the next change of clothes in the back where these worn outfits were? The germs from your dirty kit will remain in your bag, before then being transferred onto your gear, and so on. To reduce the chances of this happening, simply wash your bag every few days or at least once a week if this is a regular occurrence, preferably on a hot wash within the washing machine.
Like we said, we don’t want to scare you off going to the gym and exercising like you did beforehand, but there are going to be different procedures in place when we are able to return. Keeping on top of hygiene and ensuring all surfaces and grips have been wiped and cleaned are the least we can do, for not only the sake of the gym and yourself, but also the country.