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Old 07-18-2006, 08:55 AM   #1
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Unhappy Know Anything About GYM Sickness?

I have a question for everyone and I'm not sure if this is the right place to post it but I always get such a good response on this forum. Has anyone else gotten sick from going to the gym? I have been walking and working out at home since Feb. and have not been sick once. I recently joined the YMCA about a month ago and have been experiencing different sicknesses ever since. I've had a stomach virus, the sniffles, a fever blister in my nose, and now I have a really bad sore throat. Can this all just be a coincidence or am I getting sick from the gym? I know we have to spray the machines after we use them and I always do but I was watching people last night and hardly anyone did. Any suggestions?
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:25 AM   #2
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Don't know about gym sickness but I do know the thought of going to a gym makes me sick!!
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:27 AM   #3
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I've probably spent thousands of hours in my gym over the past five years, in between working there and working out. And I never get sick any more, not even colds (and no one in my gym wipes down equipment). Maybe all the exercise and healthy eating has boosted my immune system?

I just make sure that I wash my hands once I get home!
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:30 AM   #4
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I've never gotten sick from a gym but I did get a ringworm from my Taekwondo studio-ewwwww.
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:44 AM   #5
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I'm with you. When summer began it was cool enough that I could do my running outside in fresh air and lately it's been uber humid so I've been going to my gym. Boy, I feel sick (temperature wise) when I get done. At first I chalked it up to feeling sore because I do get that way sometimes but honestly it's been a week and I'm still feeling the tempy. I think it's the lack of circulation - sure the door is open but when there are 20 people working out in a contained location, one door ain't gonna cut it in my opinion.

take some theraflu or whatever it is called to ward off the colds? Also, I'm with Meg - wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands.

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Old 07-18-2006, 09:55 AM   #6
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You can pick up all sorts of ick at the gym. I read an article in the Times about it Being in any communal space where people sneeze, cough, sweat, breathe over each other is not nice! Plus when it gets all hot and sticky in there the germs breed. Yummy!

I still go to the gym though! I think of it as a workout for my immune system!
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Old 07-18-2006, 11:40 AM   #7
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They clean the machines at least twice at day at my Curves gym and they have several bottles of hand sanitizer around, which I always use after my workout. You can pick up germs any place where people are in close proximity, so the best thing you can do is to make sure you wash your hands before touching your nose, eyes or mouth.
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:18 PM   #8
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I'm like Meg on this one. I haven't been sick in years. I go to Curves at least several times a week. They have hand sanitizer at our Curves too as someone mentioned, but hardly no one ever uses it. And since it's a circuit, with people always moving around it, they can't go behind everyone and wipe the equipment. I DO wear gloves, but for blisters, not germs...since when I first started, I got blisters horribly without using gloves. You might be able to try that and see if it helps with the germs though.

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Old 07-18-2006, 09:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Meg

I've probably spent thousands of hours in my gym over the past five years, in between working there and working out. And I never get sick any more, not even colds (and no one in my gym wipes down equipment). Maybe all the exercise and healthy eating has boosted my immune system?

I just make sure that I wash my hands once I get home!
Maybe all the exposure to germs boosted your immune system.

Don't get me wrong, healthy eating and exercise do their part, but average healthy individuals develop stronger immunity when they are repeatedly exposed to stuff.
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:06 PM   #10
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I have a pretty good immune system and take vitamin c regularly.
My old gym, I rarely had problems. When I moved and switched to a new gym, I was catching colds every other week. Now I have a home gym, no problems.

I think what it comes down to is whether the gym actually puts any kind of cleaner in the water bottles, and whether they use paper towels instead of 're-usable' towels or rags.

My old gym used to use sanitizer and provided towels which were used ALL DAY (so many towels per area). Then they had a member there who worked in a lab, asked as an experiment to do an analysis on the towels. The report was posted and then they instantly installed these machine with pre-moistened wipes. They said that the germs on those towels were through the roof.

So.. good idea - ask your gym if they actually put sanitizer in the water, or is it WATER only. (some gyms might even lie about this) And, if they provide re-usable towels, bring your own. Wash your hands before and after you use machines (or after your workout), don't put your hands up by your face if you can help it, and bring along hand sanitizer gel if you can't wash your hands.

Think of all of the who-knows-what that might be in there. Some people are cleaner individuals than others.

Which brings me to the reason I don't care for public pools and public hot tubs... human soup. eeeew. sorry to gross everyone out.


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Old 07-18-2006, 10:14 PM   #11
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My parents both go to the gym and my mom is a germ freak so she keeps a towel that she has soaked in a diluted bleach solution in a plastic bag and wipes down the machine before she uses it. This is not allowed at the place she works out but she is discreet about it. Buy a tub of anitbacterial wet ones and wipe down that machine and hands.
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:25 PM   #12
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I've been going to the gym for 20+ years and I am rarely sick, but I do wash my hands as soon as I finish my workout and I always make sure I don't touch my face with my hands when I am working out.

I don't wipe down the weight machines but I do wipe down the treadmill, most times... I say most times, because at times I don't because the towel is soooooo wet from others wiping their machines that I refuse to touch it and spread more bacteria on the treadmill...GROSS!!
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Old 07-18-2006, 11:17 PM   #13
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I don't think I've ever gotten sick at my gym. but they have thoses hand sanitizers everywhere and because it's part of the hospital.. the people come and clean everything like 3 times a day. it must be the cleanest gym around @[email protected]

But i'm sure there are lots of germs around gyms.
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Old 07-19-2006, 08:44 AM   #14
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I get ill from the gym if I'm worn out and my system is low anyways, otherwise no.

I am allergic to the cleaner and wash my hands after everytime I use it. The cardio machines usually get wiped off after each person, but the weight machines don't.

I find that I get a sore throat if I lie face down on the mat without a towel underneath. So I make sure I have my towel when doing mat work.

Also, I wash my hands thoroughly when I get home, even if I'm having my shower right away.
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Old 07-19-2006, 01:19 PM   #15
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Knock on wood, but I haven't been sick once since I started working out.

I do bring my own towel, but I just use it to wipe the sweat off my face and to put behind my head, I don't use it to wipe down the equipment (well, if I've really been sweating all over something, I'll wipe it down, but the wiping down thing is not a standard practice at my gym).

The water at my gym is from the kind of water fountain you had at your grade school (you know, the kind where you stick your head in it and hope no ones been putting their mouth on the nozel), so I'm pretty sure it is just straight tap water. Which I would never ever drink under any other circumstance. (Tap water in no. CA, esp. where I live, is so hard you can practically see the minerals floating around in it--in fact, you absolutely can see them if you freeze it and let it melt again. I don't know what that stuff is but it can't be good for you.) But I'm too lazy to carry around a water bottle so I drink the tap water at the gym.

I do think I have a good immune system that I developed through years of business travel (you are exposed to a lot of stuff on planes). That first year I traveled, I was sick all the time. Earaches, stomach flu three times, pink eye, colds, flu, you name it. After that first year though, I hardly ever got sick. Stuff would go around the office and everyone else would be sick, but I would escape. Of course, that second year of travel was also around the time I quit smoking, so I'm sure that had something to do with it too.

I eat at least one sugar-free vitamin C lozenge per day (it's like candy, but good for you ), although I think that provides more of a pyschological benefit than anything else.

Finally, I avoid using any anti-bacterial products. They aren't effective (colds and flus are mostly caused by viruses, which aren't killed by antibiotics) and eventually you'll develop an immunity to them. Then when you really do need an antibiotic, it won't be as effective. I used to get a lot of UTIs, and I definitely had to keep moving to stronger and stronger antibiotics so I'm a freak about this.

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