Gyms are hot and moist (whether it’s from a pool or dedicated athletes)—the perfect place for yeast to grow. But it’s not just yeast—all that exposed skin means that gyms are also a good place to pick up MRSA.
Don’t dismiss it as just the nightmares of germaphobes—the things that grow in gyms can infect even the young and healthy. In fact, high schools are common places for MRSA outbreaks.
Containment involves days-to-weeks of wiping things down with bleach—so don’t be fooled by less.
Prevention Is The First Step
-Invest in your own equipment—towels, yoga mats, stretch straps, etc. Then make sure you maintain it well and keep it clean.
-Don’t overlook the little things, like cleaning your gym bag, too. Some are made to be machine washable—but you’ll gradually lose any antibacterial coatings. You can help keep gym bags fresh with Smelly Shoe Spray—a quick preventative against both smells and germs.
-Keep your tennis shoes similarly clean with a preventative spritz of Smelly Shoe Spray—or a defensive one, if they need a little help after a hard workout. You can extend the life of your shoes by letting them dry out for a day (alternate pairs or follow the oft-recommended one day of cardio, one day of strength-building).
-And be choose-y about where you work out. Do they enforce cleaning of the equipment by patrons? Are carpets newer? How often do you see cleaning people? Etc.
-Two common places to catch germs are mats, and showers. Reduce the risk of mat infections with a good shower, and reduce the risk of shower/locker room infections with a pair of shower shoes (cheap flip-flops are easy to clean and fairly disposable, crocs are bacteria resistant and even preferred by hospitals).
Then, Catch It Early
Because MRSA is talked about so intensely, with words like “Superbug” bandied about, you might assume that catching it is immediately dramatic. Actually, you could have a small amount for a long time before you notice.
What to look for? Most often, MRSA skin infections start out as a red spot. But you’d be wise to watch out for inflammation in general—any signs of redness, swelling, or pain, so that you know if your body is telling you it’s fighting something.
With other gym germs, like yeast, Athlete’s foot (not limited to feet, by the way—it’s the same as jock itch), and other skin infections, just keep an eye out for skin changes, like peeling, or redness.
Then see a doctor to confirm it.
And be sure to keep your immune system up with colloidal silver!
Share your gym tricks with us!