There’s nothing like a stellar sweat sesh to beat stress, boost your mood and get into shape. But working on that handstand or tight tush in the studio can expose you to a host of lurking gym germs that may threaten to sabotage your squat game. Bugs that cause colds, the flu, athlete’s foot and other skin conditions hide out on just about every surface. Not exactly a fun scene, when you’re working out to actually feel good! Fortunately, there are some easy preventive habits and hacks to avoid catching—or spreading!—any unwanted gym germs with your fit fam. Yep, you now have one less excuse to avoid breaking a sweat!
BYOM: Bring Your Own Mat (& Towel)
Carry your own mat to class, and don’t forget to toss in a fresh towel, too! It’s hard to know how hygienic your studio is behind the scenes, and how clean your mat and towel really are unless you’ve washed them yourself. Studies have shown that gym mats are among the dirtiest areas of the gym, so be sure to wash your mat once a week to ditch any stage 5 clinger nasties. A mixture of water and vinegar should do the trick!
Clean equipment before and after
This one is a no-brainer, but it’s often easy to forget to wipe down your bike or reformer machine when rushing into class. Be sure to give all equipment you’ll be using a good twice-over to avoid picking up what the person before you just spent an hour throwing down.
Even if they’re not required, popping on socks helps with more than just slipping. Floors are an absolute breeding ground for bacteria, so keeping your feet covered is key. Go for an option with breathability, sweat absorption and a functional non-slip grip. (We’re loving Sticky Be’s cute collection for this very reason!)
Avoid touching your face during class
Getting just one little scratch on that sudden itch may be hard to resist, but why take the risk? Fix any flyaways by pushing hair out of your face with the back of your palm, which is less likely to have come into contact with a contaminated surface.
Bacteria and fungus thrive in most, warm environments. You know, like your body after a workout! Pack flip-flops for the studio shower (never let your bare feet hit the floor!) and be sure to wash feet last, giving in-between the toes some extra attention.