As most people head into the gym, their minds are focused on the day’s workout—not on MRSA, norovirus, influenza and other scary germs that may be floating around or lurking on the equipment. While disinfectant sprays and hand sanitizers are available in some facilities, you might be lucky to get a paper towel in others. But you don’t have to become a germophobe—or worse, avoid working out at the gym altogether—to avoid getting sick. Just use common sense and keep these tips in mind to protect yourself.
Athletes tend to be focused on meeting goals, crossing finish lines and winning the game. They’re driven, motivated, hardworking individuals who press boundaries to reap rewards. All the physical activity often hits their bodies hard, causing issues from achy muscles to blisters to dehydration. They have special skincare needs, too, and may need to care for their complexions a bit differently than others.
Germs are everywhere, but sometimes we don’t consider the fact that germs and bacteria actually live on our skin. We’re all aware that we need to wash our hands frequently, follow basic food safety practices and avoid touching people and objects that we know are infected with our bare hands. We tend to think of bacteria as germs that cause illnesses; however, new studies suggest that a healthy amount of normal bacteria can help prevent diseases. When it comes to our skin, though, we often associate bacteria with breakouts, clogged pores and congested skin.
Most environmentally conscious people are aware of the word “ecosystem,” in which every participating element plays a role in the system’s ability to flourish. The human body has one of those ecosystems, too, and it’s located in the gut.
The inhabitants of the human gastrointestinal tract are bacteria – loads of different varieties – and what they do and how many there are play a huge role in defining our health. When this bacterial eco-balance is disrupted – for reasons including taking medication, poor diet, antibiotics or aging – ingesting some “friendly” microorganisms may be beneficial.
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