The New Gym Dos

18 Mar 2013

Sneezing and sniffing? Breaking out like a high schooler? Your fitness routine could be the culprit. For an even healthier sweat session, consider these germ-proofing moves...

MISTAKE YOU MAKE: Wearing cotton underwear
BETTER BEHAVIOUR: Donning high-tech threads

“Microorganisms that cause yeast infections thrive in damp environments, like your sweaty fitness clothes,” says ob-gyn Michele Curtis. She recommends dressing in apparel made from moisture-wicking materials from head to toe — including your undergarments. And if your panties don’t meet that standard, but your workout shorts or leggings do, feel free to go commando.

MISTAKE YOU MAKE: Not cleaning equipment
BETTER BEHAVIOUR: Wiping down everything

Using communal gear can expose you to colds, viruses — even MRSA (an antibiotic resistant bacteria). Run a disinfecting wipe over all machines and tools and avoid torn seats. “Even if they’re washed often, these surfaces are tough to sanitise,” says Dr Aaron Glatt. No wipes nearby? Place a towel between you and the equipment; then use another one to mop your brow.

MISTAKE YOU MAKE: Skipping the shower
BETTER BEHAVIOUR: Lathering up post-workout

The longer perspiration stays on your skin (wet fabric traps it there), the greater chance bacteria that leads to acne, folliculitis and more has to flourish. “If you don’t have time to shower, use unscented body wipes,” says dermatologist Daniela Kroshinsky. “Either way, leave the gym in clean, dry clothes.”