The transfer of germs is higher in winter than in other seasons because the cold virus survives better in dry air, says Yael Halaas, MD, FACS, a board-certified ear, nose and throat specialist in New York. Then, you have sick people sweating, coughing and spreading that virus all over the incline buttons on your treadmill.
Do wipe down remotes, touch pads, handlebars and any other shared surface with antibacterial spray or wipes. Some gyms provide bottles of spray (and if yours does, you should wipe the handle of the bottle before cleaning anything else). If not, bring your own wipes.
6. Don't Walk in the Door and Immediately Start Making Dinner
Chad Ruf, director of personal training for Snap Fitness, a gym with outposts in 47 states, works in Chanhassen, Minnesota, where the average high temperature in January is 22°. Once you get home from a run or a workout at the gym, he says, don't let your email, dinner or even a warm mug of coffee distract you from what’s most important.
Do take those sweaty clothes off. Sitting in them will make it nearly impossible to warm up, says Ruf (it's also bad for your skin).
7. Don't Sit in the Steam Room After Your Workout
Halaas knows the humidity can help moisten dry nasal passages, but cleanliness is her number one concern. A slightly neglected steam room plus two or three sniffly people can be the worst place to warm up after an outdoor workout.
Do confirm that your gym's steam room is clean (staff should wipe it down hourly, and you shouldn't see any cracks in the walls, floor or ceiling), says Halaas, and wrap yourself in a clean towel and wear flip-flops.
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