Gyms aren’t always the cleanest places! Let`s face it, it’s a fact! For a place that’s supposed to be healthy, they can be some of the dirtiest places around. Now, I’m not saying all gyms are like this, they aren’t, but many are. I should know. I had firsthand experience a few years ago that nearly took my life!
My experience regarding dirty gyms
Gyms aren’t always the cleanest places! The terrible experience I had regarding this issue was at a popular gym, not one of the biggest gym chains, but a popular one, obviously, I’m not going to name and shame them in this blog for obvious reasons.
The gym in question was well known for not picking trash up or cleaning restrooms, but it was cheap and just down the road from me, so the bad things were overlooked for the price and convenience. Not the wisest choice I must admit looking back.
A great workout to start the day
A few years ago, I was feeling fine and had my usual early morning workout which at the time was my best of the year! I left the gym feeling on top of the world. Little did I know what was to come later the next few days though.
As the day went on, I started feeling not too well, at first, I thought it was flu with hot and sweaty symptoms. I left work early and went to bed only to awake pouring with sweat! And I mean pouring, the bed sheets were drenched!
After this marathon sweating session, I actually felt somewhat better. It was my wife`s birthday weekend and we had a special weekend planned out of town, after convincing her I was ok to go, we set off and I felt reasonably ok.
Each day got progressively worse, and I knew something was seriously wrong.
Straight to my doctor, after running the usual tests at the doctor`s they confirmed it wasn’t flu, actually, they could only tell me what it wasn’t, but couldn’t tell me what it was. The doctor looked horrified and sent me to the emergency room at the local hospital.
An unknown mysterious virus
The hospital gave me high doses of steroids and antibiotics but were unable to diagnose what exactly I had caught and put it under the label of an unknown mysterious virus.
After a few weeks I recovered slowly, but it left me feeling weak, tired and quite often my blood sugar would suddenly drop without warning. Anyone who has experienced this, will I’m sure agree it is a very scary feeling indeed.
Anyway, to cut a long story short I almost died from this! But I didn’t, and now fully recovered, thankfully. Even though I can’t prove it, I know for sure this was something I caught at that gym. Gyms aren’t always the cleanest places! You can’t be too careful these days, especially now we`re in the grip of fear from the corona-virus.
Washing hands after working out
Respiratory viruses like coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spread when mucus or droplets containing the virus get into your body through your eyes, nose or throat. Most often, this happens through your hands. Hands are also one of the most common ways that the virus spreads from one person to the next.
During a global pandemic, one of the cheapest, easiest, and most important ways to prevent the spread of a virus is to wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to wash your hands the right way, it might seem a little obvious, but think about it; how many times do you see people leave the restroom without even thinking to wash their hands? It does happen a lot I’m sure you’ll agree, right?
How do I wash my hands properly?
To eliminate all traces of the virus on your hands, a quick scrub and a rinse won’t cut it. Below is a step-by-step process for effective handwashing.
- Step 1: Wet hands with running water
- Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover wet hands
- Step 3: Scrub all surfaces of the hands – including back of hands, between fingers and under nails – for at least 20 seconds.
- Step 4: Rinse thoroughly with running water
- Step 5: Dry hands with a clean cloth or single-use towel
How long should I wash my hands for?
You should wash your hands for at least 20-30 seconds. An easy way to time it is by singing the full happy birthday song, twice.
The same goes for hand sanitizer: use a sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and rub it into your hands for at least 20 seconds to ensure full coverage.
When should I wash my hands?
In the context of COVID-19 prevention, you should make sure to wash your hands at the following times:
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- After visiting a public space, including public transportation, markets and places of worship
- After touching surfaces outside of the home, including money
- Before, during and after caring for a sick person
- Before and after eating
In general, you should always wash your hands at the following times:
- After using the toilet
- Before and after eating
- After handling garbage
- After touching animals and pets
- After changing babies’ diapers or helping children use the toilet
- When your hands are visibly dirty
How can I help my child wash his or her hands?
You can help children wash their hands by making handwashing easier for them, for instance, by setting up a stool so they can reach water and soap by themselves. You can make it fun for them by singing their favorite songs while you help them rub their hands.
Do I need to use warm water to wash my hands?
No, you can use any temperature of water to wash your hands. Cold water and warm water are equally effective at killing germs and viruses – as long as you use soap!
Do I need to dry my hands with a towel?
Germs spread more easily from wet skin than from dry skin, so drying your hands completely is an important step. Paper towels or clean cloths are the most effective way to remove germs without spreading them to other surfaces.
Which is better: washing your hands or using hand sanitizer?
In general, both handwashing with soap and water and hand sanitizer, when practiced/used correctly, are highly effective at killing most germs and pathogens. Hand sanitizer is often more convenient when you are outside of the home but can be expensive or difficult to find in emergency contexts. Also, alcohol-based hand sanitizer kills the coronavirus, but it does not kill all kinds of bacteria and viruses. For example, it is relatively ineffective against the norovirus and rotavirus.
What if I don’t have soap?
Using chlorinated water or hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 per cent alcohol are the best second options if you do not have soap and running water. In cases where these are not available, using soapy water or ash may help remove bacteria, though not as effectively. If these methods are used, it is important to wash your hands as soon as possible when you do have access to handwashing facilities and avoid contact with people and surfaces in the meantime.
How else can I help stop the spread of the corona-virus?
- Use proper sneezing and coughing etiquette: Cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing, dispose of used tissue immediately, and wash your hands
- Avoid touching your face (mouth, nose, eyes)
- Practice social distancing: Avoiding shaking hands, hugging or kissing people, sharing food, utensils, cups and towels
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms
- Seek medical care early if you or your child has a fever, cough or difficulty breathing
- Clean surfaces that might have come in touch with the virus, and generally clean surfaces more frequently (especially in public spaces)
You can’t be too careful these days, especially now we`re in the grip of fear from the corona-virus. Gyms aren’t always the cleanest places! So be extra careful in or out of the gym. With a little thought we can all keep the germs away with simple and basic hygiene.