Don’t Let Flu Season Infect Your Weight Loss Goals

Maintaining a healthy diet and staying fit are essential components of medical weight loss. Santa Rosa and Novato are filled with public gyms and health spas for you to join to help you stay on track with your fitness goals. Beware of the late flu season though this year—many public establishments such as gyms can increase your risk of exposure to infection while you exercise to lose weight. Don’t boycott the gym just yet, here are a few tips to shield your health at the gym and fight off the late flu season.

  1. Washing your hands after exercise can reduce your chance of spreading germs from bodily fluids like sweat to vulnerable areas on your body, such as your face or even to your food. Make sure to scrub with antibacterial soap for at least 20 seconds under warm water directly after exercising.
  2. Bring your own equipment with you to the gym whenever possible. This can include equipment such as yoga mats, boxing gloves and even towels. Studies show that shared equipment at the gym like yoga mats can be a refuge for sweat, dirt and grime, ultimately meaning more germs that aren’t necessarily yours—gross!
  3. Bandaging any skin wounds, whether actively bleeding or not can help cut down on your exposure to unwanted infectious germs. Especially if you frequent whirlpools or swimming pools as a part of your workout routine—breaks in the skin are susceptible to infection so make sure you’re fully healed before entering public water sources.
  4. Wipe down equipment not only before you use it but afterwards, too. You don’t want people spreading their germs to you, so extend the same courtesy to the next user. Don’t just wipe down equipment with the same towel you use to dry your sweat. Try to use sprays or wipes with antibacterial agents for extra fortification against germs when cleaning equipment.
  5. Shower often when working out at a public facility. This means showering beforehand if you do take a dip in the pool or hot tub after working out and after you get out. You don’t want to introduce bacteria into the water for other public users, and you want to protect yourself from picking up skin infections like “hot tub rash.” Even if you don’t use these amenities, remember to scrub extra well during your post-gym shower to prevent fungal infections such as Athlete’s foot or jock itch.
  6. Wear shoes or shower shoes in any areas where the gym floor may be wet or damp. Surfaces such as the locker room floor are an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, germs and viruses so it’s important to protect yourself at all times.

When you’re spending free-time at the gym, chances are it’s to lose weight and stay in shape—but catching an infection or flu bug might put a temporary halt in those fitness goals. So, it’s important to protect yourself as best you can from unwanted germs and bacteria so you can stay focused on the goals at hand and not on flu season.

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