It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Flu Season.

Early morning and the gym was empty. I huffed and puffed while Ariana Grande pressed me forward. Victorious, I raised from the bench, set down my dumbbells and moved on to my next exercise. Out of left field emerged a woman with a Lysol wipe and piercing eyes of judgment. Crap. I didn’t clean off my seat.

“But I was barely sweating!”

“No one else is here!”  

“I know the next person won’t wipe it- what’s the point?”

These are are the thoughts that ran through my head but I knew I deserved every bit of disdain she was dishing.

The gym is a nasty place. Sweat, spit, close spaces, lots of exposed skin and lots of people touching things. Frankly, it’s a recipe for disaster. With three already out of the office at work this flu season, I am keenly aware.

Four Ways you can Support a Healthy Happy Gym

  1. Don’t get Handsey

Sweat in your eyes? Runny nose? Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Use your arm if you can. Not only will you lessen the chance of contracting a virus, you will help the rest of us. You may even want to get travel sized hand sanitizer for use in between sets.

      2. Wash your Hands

A  study published by the NIH found weight equipment significantly contaminated with viruses. Twice daily cleanings of the equipment showed little effect. Prevention is the best medicine. Frequent hand washing and keeping your hands free from bodily fluids can help avoid the transmission of viruses.

       3. Wipe your Seat

Skin infections are among the most common dermatological problem for athletes. Bacteria, viruses and fungi: sharing is caring but in this case you can keep them. Clean off your seat even if there are no sweat marks. It’s a good idea to wipe the seat before use as well. This is an opportune time to wipe your hands while you’re at it.

       4. Workout at Home

Stay at home if you are sick. Get rest and come back stronger. There are plenty of online workouts you can do with little to no equipment if you feel up to it. Fitness Blender has a wide range of routines varying in style, length, and difficulty. It is easy to get a killer workout in your living room.

I really like working out. It makes me feel good to move my body and pick up heavy things. I know a lot of others feel that way as well. Let’s work together to make sure we all stay on the swole patrol this season.

Happy lifting!

About The Author

Valerie Rider

A health evangelist in the cubicle farm, Valerie hopes to help others sort through the noise and bring movement and healthful pursuit into a sedentary world. Having never played a sport or participated in physical activity Valerie started her path to health and wellness in 2014. The same girl who walked the mile throughout grade school boasts top 10% of female finishers for the DC Spartan 2016 Sprint. She offers a unique and fresh perspective into health and wellness fueled by a passion to share with others what she has found for herself. When she is not working out, she enjoys the outdoors, writing poetry, her rescue dog Cody and a paleo based diet. Valerie is always available for a quick tip or as a friendly resource. From organizing team volunteer days, encouraging healthy food options, and running after work exercise boot camps, to starting a standing desk movement at her office, Valerie continues to encourage and spread the word of health made easy. Valerie graduated from George Mason University in 2012 and currently works as an Analyst for a Government Contractor. Interested in common welfare, Valerie is a recipient of the Public Anthropology Award for Excellence in Writing on Public Issues and traveled to India with Habitat for Humanity. She is currently working on a Personal Training Certification from the National Association for Fitness Certification. Follow her on Instagram @DisposableWisdom for motivational content and to see what’s for dinner!

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