Exercise boosts your immune system, so going to the gym is one of the best things someone can do to stay well during cold and flu season. It’s estimated that each year in the United States, the flu results in around 31.4 million outpatient visits and about 200,000 hospitalizations. However, exercise doesn’t guarantee definite immunity, and some of your members are inevitably going to get sick this winter season.
Keeping a clean gym is one of the most important things you can do to prevent an outbreak of the flu through your community. There are steps to be put in place to ensure a healthier gym whether it be keeping Vitamin C tablets on your front desk, boxes of tissues on each corner or free water bottles so members don’t cross contaminate. Use these gym hygiene tips to keep germs at bay and help your athletes stay well throughout the season:
This seems like a no brainer, but how many times have you finished a workout and went about your day without first washing your hands? Everyone who steps foot in your gym is more than likely touching an array of the same equipment, passing germs left and right. By encouraging hand washing you are less likely to see that spread of germs as quickly.
You probably already have an equipment wipe down routine in place, but it should be emphasized, if not heightened, during cold and flu season. Bacteria and viruses like to play hopscotch with your barbells and dumbbells, so make sure there are ample spray bottles and rags around the gym, and encourage everyone to wipe down equipment after each use.
Have your staff post signs around your gym about cleaning equipment and washing hands before and after workouts. By simply seeing a sign, your members will be more likely to run to the bathroom and scrub their hands than if they hadn’t been reminded.
Remind your athletes it’s OK to take a guilt-free pass if they have fever, nausea, runny nose, chest congestion or the chills. Encourage them to get some rest and spare their workout partners the likelihood of also getting sick. Remind them rest is the best thing for them right now, not a new max deadlift.