It’s that time of year again, cold and flu season. Germs are everywhere and on everything you touch. You spend your days at work, then off to the gym and you are touching multiple items that will carry germs. Illnesses like the flu and colds are caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. What can you do to protect yourself from getting sick? There are some key ways to protect yourself from germs you find at work and at the gym.
AT THE GYM:
Wear Flip-Flops in the Shower
Protect your bare feet from germs and fungus such as athlete’s foot. Wearing flip-flops in the shower will eliminate the direct contact you have with the floor in the shower, sauna and change rooms. Fungal infections can happen anywhere when you have bare feet.
Use Reusable Water Bottles
When you drink from your own reusable water bottle and not the drinking fountain you are eliminating your risk to Norovirus, a highly contagious intestinal virus that can easily be spread through communal water fountains. Be careful not to keep opening and closing the bottle either as you can easily transfer germs from your hands to your mouth.
Your gym bag can be a great place for germs to hide especially when you think of where you put it. Car floor, change room floor, public washrooms, all great places to pick up germs. Take the time to regularly wash out and disinfect your gym bag. Keep a bottle of disinfectant spray in your car or gym bag that can be used even before the bag enters your house.
Use Your Equipment
Whenever possible, bring your own equipment to use at the gym. An easy one is your own workout mat or yoga mat. Even if you can manage your own kettle bell or bar bells, you’ll be less likely to pick up something from someone else. Be sure to sanitize your equipment as well.
Keep Your Distance
A crowded fitness class can be an easy way to catch the flu. When possible try to keep about 2 arms length away from anyone else. When you head to the cardio or weight equipment, if the gym isn’t too busy, pick a machine that is not right beside someone else.
Clean and Disinfect
Wipe down your work area often. Pay attention to computer keyboards, desks and telephones. Germs accumulate quickly on and around these areas so you want to make sure they are cleaned often.
Beware of the Office Kitchen
An office kitchen can carry the most germs. Almost everyone goes in there and touches something. Be sure to wash your hands well before and after handling food and touching places like the refrigerator door handle and microwave oven.
Watch out for Those Doors
Door knobs and handles can breed germs. If possible use a tissue or paper towel when you have to open a door. Otherwise, wash hands or use a hand sanitizer after touching door handles.
Another popular spot in the office building for germs is the washroom. Try not to touch anything unnecessarily. Wash hands before you head back to work to prevent the spread of germs from the restroom to other areas of the office.
A courteous handshake is part of doing business. Make sure to wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer after this gesture to prevent the spread of germs. Avoid touching your face right after a handshake.
ALL THE TIME:
Wash your hands regularly. The best way to combat germs is to wash your hands after doing any activity. You especially want to make sure you wash your hands before and after you eat.
Avoid touching your face. Any surface can contain germs. You’re hands are always busy touching something. Avoiding touching your face because germs you come in contact with can wind up in the openings of your nose, ears and mouth.
By being aware of your surroundings and what you may be touching, you won’t have to hide out for cold and flu season to stay germ free. The key to staying healthy is continuing with your healthy lifestyle, healthy food, healthy amounts of exercise and definitely washing your hands often.
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