Avoiding Germs at the Gym

Q: I exercise at a gym and am maddened when people continue to work out when they’re sick. How can I avoid catching a cold from them?

A: One of the best ways for you to stay healthy is to continue to exercise. When researchers compared activity levels and cold rates, they discovered that the more active people were, the fewer colds they got. But if there are a lot of sick people at your gym, you’ll need to take extra steps to protect yourself. Here’s how:

Be a good role model.
Make a habit of wiping down exercise equipment before and after each use. Most gyms provide spray cleaners and paper towels. If yours doesn’t, speak to the manager.

Bring your own.
If your gym lacks the above, carry individually wrapped antibacterial wipes (found in the paper- products section of most grocery stores) in your gym bag. Let the surface of the exercise equipment dry completely after wiping.

Wash your hands.
Colds get in through your nose, mouth and ears — so washing your hands frequently and keeping them away from your face is a good defense.

Have a clean finish.
End your workout by taking a shower to rinse away any leftover germs.

I hope this helps assuage your fears. Keep working out!

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