Working out is all about improving your health, but if you aren’t careful about your hygiene, you might get stuck with a cold — or worse. If you’re the kind of person who has made working out part of your weekly routine, then that’s amazing, and your body certainly thanks you!

Before hitting the gym, wash your hands.  Proper hand-washing is our #1 defense against the spread of disease. This can help protect you and others from germs. People touch a lot of common items at the gym and we also touch our own bodies and faces (wiping off sweat, etc.). Make sure you’re washing your hands a full 20 seconds, don’t just put soap on and rinse it off within 5 seconds.

Make sure to keep your hands off your face during your workout and use a paper towel to wipe off any sweat. Nothing is more annoying than getting into a regular workout routine, then having to stop for a few weeks because of a bad cold. Regardless of what you touch during your workout, hand washing is a good idea.

Even though “wipe down your equipment” signs are all over your gym, doctors recommend operating under the assumption that not everyone is following that request. So, in addition to hand-washing make sure you are wiping down your equipment before and after each use. This includes your yoga mat. Doctor’s also recommended; getting changed out of your gym clothes immediately, showering properly and washing your clothes as soon as possible.

Some people attempt to exercise while under the weather, to sweat out their illness, there’s little evidence to support this approach. Furthermore, exertion while ill is often risky, so everyone benefits when sick gym goers stay home

Remember: Be smart and be safe.

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