What Lies Beneath the Sweat

September 30, 2011

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Photo: Courtesy of cbeniasuwan

After an intense workout session, it’s human nature to toss our damp, sweaty clothes into a gym bag and eventually take care of them when it’s time to do a load of laundry. However, the one vital step that most people don’t take care of is the bag that carries all the germs. Health magazine recently published an article that examined the perfect environment we are creating for bacteria to thrive in. Although we are doing a great thing for our bodies by being active, if we don’t properly take care of our workout gear, we may set back our workout regiment due to bacterial induced illnesses.

One major culprit of germy conditions is the gym bag. Personally, my gym bag carries my sneakers, pre and post workout clothes, headphones, and a water bottle. However, I rarely consider ever washing my bag. What really makes me cringe is that all of these things touch my body at some point during my workout. Whether it be my sweaty sneakers or to the absolute extreme of placing something in my ears or mouth, they both can lead to illnesses such as an irritating cold or a serious staph infection. Health Magazine recommends washing any sort of sport bag in very hot water or wiping it down with an anti-bacterial cloth every week. Also, in order to avoid placing sweaty workout clothes next to the nozzle of a water bottle or on top of our sneakers, try remembering to bring an extra bag to keep things separate.

Another serious piece to take care of is our water bottle. Anything with a nozzle that causes our hands to be placed onto it, is a recipe for disaster. Our hands inevitably get loaded with germs at the gym and by touching the mouth piece of our water bottle, we are transferring these germs right into our mouth. Health Magazine suggests pulling up on the nozzle with your teeth and washing the bottle in hot, soapy water after each use.

See what else the article has to offer by learning how to disinfect our yoga mats, shower shoes, and workout clothes. I guarantee you will be very surprised to see what intruders are living below the surface!

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The easiest way to thoroughly sterilize a gym bag is to place it into a cloth laundry bag.

Close the ties and dry for 10 minutes. Let gym bag cool inside the cloth bag before removing.

Most heat proof wet items can be sanitized, before hanging to dry by placing them into a

microwave and running for 1 minute. (Be sure there are no metal fasteners or accessories

on the item).  

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