Health Watch -- Working Out: Gym Germs

Health Watch is a public service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we're talking about health issues you need to be aware of when you're working out. While hitting the gym regularly for a good workout is great for your health, it could have adverse effects if you don't take certain precautions. Dr. Doug Hardy, an infectious diseases specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says a gym where sweaty people share equipment, mats and locker rooms can be a great breeding ground for bacteria.

That's especially dangerous when drug-resistant staph infections are involved. These bacteria can survive on the surface of mats and towels and cause infection through open wounds. To protect yourself, bandage any wounds, wipe down equipment before and after use, wash your hands after a workout, and don't share personal items such as towels.

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September 2006

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