Is hitting the gym making you sick?

By admin
26 January 2015

Suddenly you find yourself stuck at home with yet another bug. Could it be the gym that's making you ill?

No booze, healthy diet and hours pounding the treadmill at the gym - January WILL become the month you get healthy. But suddenly you find yourself stuck at home with yet another bug. Could it be the gym that's making you ill?

While exercise is doubtless super important for your health, there could be a hidden risk lurking in your kit bag. In fact, the kind of material used for workout gear is the perfect breeding ground for all kinds of nasty bacteria.

'You just need to think about what to do to control it and prevent risks'

New research published by the American Society for Microbiology found hi-tech polyester sports clothing is much bigger culprit for harbouring germs. By contrast, cotton is a safer choice for gym bunnies.

Sweating and a smelly gym kit may mean you've worked hard, but it's also a sign of more sinister things. In fact, that stench is a warning bacteria are breeding on your clothing.

And it's not just your own germs getting comfortable in there - close contact during classes or partner exercise and touching various apparatus means you could be picking up cold, flu and the norovirus or even MRSA.

But there's no need to be unduly alarmed - you just need to employ some common sense.

"It can be any germ that is in the community, colds and flu to norovirus," Dr Lisa Ackerley told MailOnline.

"It is perfectly OK to pick up bacteria, it is important not to scare anyone.

"The main thing is to be aware. You will be picking up bacteria, that is perfectly natural, you just need to think about what to do to control it and prevent risks."

After a session at the gym, empty your bag straight away and get it into the washing machine. The longer it festers, the more opportunity for the bacteria to breed, as they love warm and damp environments.

Wash clothing at 60°C or use an antibacterial cleanser to kill off as many germs as possible.

It could also be a good idea to carry some hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes with you at the gym. Wipe equipment down before and after use and give hands a quick cleanse when you leave the gym.

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