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Hazmat suit required at the gym?

The latest gym accessory? Latex gloves.

Yesterday’s harrowing New York Times article on skin infections that can be picked up at the gym was enough to spike a rush on fitness DVDs.

Jane Brody’s piece summarized the risks for gym members, which go way, way beyond athlete’s foot. We’re talking MRSA, impetigo, herpes, and more. While some of these are minor infections, MRSA is resistant to most antibiotics and can be deadly if left untreated.

So should you trade in your gym membership for a Physique 57 video?  Not necessarily. Here are some of the simple tips the Times offered from experts in the field:

-Hand hygiene is important, but it’s not enough. To avoid fungal infections, use clean athletic socks and underwear every time you work out. Carefully dry your armpits and groin and between toes and use foot powder. Wear shoes in the shower, but make sure you soap up your feet.

-Wash your entire body with antibacterial soap.  Well + Good recommends Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree Liquid Soap. It’s an all-natural anti-bacterial body wash.

-Bring your own exercise mat (or at least make sure your gym cleans the mats between every class).

-Those spray bottles are there for a reason. Clean your machine after (and before) you workout.  You never know who was there before you.

Do you have any tips for making the gym experience more hygienic? Tell us, here!