Gyms can be a nightmare for the person who cares about personal hygiene and preventing foot infections. Any place that houses so many people is subject to germ transmission, but it’s particularly bad when said people are sweating their germs everywhere and sharing the same equipment. From yoga mats and basketballs, to weight bars and public shower stalls, the list of places to pick up a pathogen are endless. So what can you do to avoid the most infectious gym germs?
Just How Dirty Are Gyms?
The NY Times reports that, at any given time, one in three Americans suffer from an infectious skin disease that could be passed to another person at the gym. A study from UC Irvine found that Staphylococcus Aureus can survive on a basketball for up to three days — transferring the pathogen even after it was supposedly “sterilized.” Furthermore, norovirus — which causes abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and vomiting — can survive on exercise machines for a month! What’s worse is that rhinoviruses (which cause the common cold) are present on 63% of gym equipment, according to one study, and “disinfecting” the machines twice a day didn’t have any effect on the virus count.
10 Ways to Avoid Gym Germs
1. Avoid touching your face. Most cold germs invade the body through hand-to-nose contact.
2. Bring alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you to use after touching any gym equipment. Washing hands is even better!
3. If you do yoga, bring your own mat and sanitize it after each use.
4. Thoroughly clean your water bottle with soap and water after a gym session.
5. Put a towel down on exercise mats or benches where your skin comes into direct contact.
6. Bring your own anti-bacterial hand wipes recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency.
7. Wear a t-shirt and capris, rather than short shorts and a tank to protect your skin from bacteria.
8. Shower immediately after every workout and keep soiled gym clothes in a compartment separate from clean clothes.
9. Wash in between your toes and dry this area thoroughly. Place an antifungal foot powder in your shoes.
10. Always wear sandals, flip-flops, or shower shoes in the locker room. Wash this footwear when you get home and let the shoes air out before repacking them.
The SteriShoe UV Shoe Sanitizer Stops Germs Dead in Their Tracks
The SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer is another tool in your arsenal against dangerous microbes. The inside of a shoe can be the perfect hiding spot for S. Aureus bacteria and dermatophyte fungi. It’s dark, moist, and hot — the ideal conditions for an entire colony to set up and thrive. When the amount of microbes reaches a critical mass, it’s really just a matter of time before a small blister, cracked heel, ingrown toenail, or bent cuticle becomes a portal for the pathogens to get inside your body and wreak havoc. In just 45 minutes, our ultraviolet light kills 99.9% of the harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi in your shoes. This is especially helpful because shoes cannot be simply thrown in the wash like other articles of clothing. Add a SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer to your gym bag by purchasing one here!