3 Things You Must Know Before Going to the Gym!
Exercise equipment is a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains.
When countless people are using the same gym equipment on a daily basis, these surfaces are bound to attract germs and bacteria. Some of the popular hot spots for germs to mingle are the same things you’re likely to touch: locker room benches, exercise mats, door handles, bike seats, public showers and communal towels. Dr. Joel Schlessinger recently spoke to Women’s Health about these dangerous bacteria.
One bacterium you might not expect to find at the gym is streptococcal bacteria, the same bacteria responsible for strep throat.
“Strep bacteria are extremely contagious and can be spread through skin contact, airborne droplets and surfaces like exercise equipment,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger says. “Aside from causing strep throat, these bacteria can also lead to skin infections and blisters.”
Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares the importance of wearing shower shoes, even in the locker room.
Your feet are also at risk, especially if you hit the showers.
The fungi that lead to athlete’s foot, a scaly rash that causes itching, stinging and burning between the toes, can be found on the floor of many public shower stalls, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains. You’re also at risk for contracting onychomycosis, a fungal infection that causes toenails to become thickened, brittle and hard with a yellow discoloration.
Additionally, if you have even the smallest of cuts on the bottom of your foot, the human papillomavirus could sneak through and cause a painful plantar wart or you could contract a serious bacterial infection.
Protect yourself from harmful bacteria at the gym with these tips from Dr. Joel Schlessinger.
Whenever possible, Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends waiting to shower until you get home. Bacteria, fungus, mold and other germs thrive in warm, moist environments like public shower stalls. If you must shower at the gym, always wear shower shoes.
“I recommend cleansing with CLn products because the active ingredient in each formula is bleach, one of the few antibacterial agents that do not lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” Dr. Schlessinger adds. “CLn can also be used to remove dangerous bacteria on your hands.”
After showering, always dry your feet thoroughly, including in between each toe, with a clean towel. If you’ve had athlete’s foot before, consider applying an antifungal foot powder like Zeasorb Antifungal Treatment Powder for Athlete’s Foot, as well. It’s also a good idea to clean your shower shoes with a disinfectant like bleach and replace them regularly.
For more germs you could encounter at the gym, check out the rest of the Women’s Health article.
Do you have a question about gym germs for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments.