January always means one thing for indoor exercisers: Hoards of New Year’s resolution-ers will join gyms. If you’re new to the fitness center scene, take note that in addition to navigating your way through the treadmills and recumbent bicycles, there are some tacit rules of etiquette that health club members should try to follow, regardless of the season.
Clean up After Yourself: The same principles you learned in kindergarten apply to the inside of your fitness center. While most health clubs employ a housekeeping staff to sanitize machines, locker rooms and common areas, it makes their job easier when club members practice good manners post-workout.
Sanitize: Remember to wipe off machines when you’re done using them so that the person after you doesn’t have to run on a sweat-stained treadmill. In the locker room, remember to place your towel in the proper receptacles when you’re finished – and not just laying on the floor.
Whether you currently have a gym membership or plan on joining a gym as part of a New Year’s resolution, there’s one thing you should know: health clubs potentially pose health hazards.
That’s right, even though your local gym provides many ways for you to improve your health, there are a few ways that the opposite may be true.
Germs are the main health risk at your local gym. Most health clubs encourage their members to spray equipment with a disinfecting spray after using, but we all know that’s not followed by everyone.
Staph infections can spread through gym equipment, towels and even mats. They tend to occur on certain areas of the body, including the armpit, neck, groin, and butt. They start out looking like a pimple, but grow and become more painful and produce puss. While they often clear on their own, you should contact your doctor if you develop a fever or the infection grows, or becomes tender and warm. (more…)