STAYING HEALTHY AT THE GYM
The MRSA Bug We Can’t See
written by Marilyn Freedman,B.A. Homeopath HOM
Attending a health club regularly is one activity that really promotes putting ourselves on the path to living a healthy lifestyle. Being healthy, and staying that way, means understanding and following some basic hygienic tips. There are germs lurking everywhere. Fungi and bacteria thrive in warm, moist places, such as pools, shower stalls, hot tubs, and sweaty clothes. Bacteria survives for hours on exercise equipment and locker room benches. An especially dangerous bacteria has found its way into the gym and is a cause for concern.
The bacteria, called Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, or MRSA, is rapidly spreading. MRSA is a version of the common staphylococcus bacteria, but is immune to common antibiotics. Staphylococcus Aureus is the most common cause of hospital acquired infections. MRSA first appeared in hospitals in the 1960’s. In the early 1990’s MRSA started appearing outside of hospitals, in among prisoners, nursing homes, military trainees, intravenous drug users, and in clusters of athletes. Researchers found that this bacteria was being transmitted by sharing towels and razors, touching contaminated surfaces such as gym equipment, and by close physical contact.
Infection occurs when bacteria get into skin tissues causing boils, pimples, abscesses and inflammation, joint infections blood infections, or pneumonia. People at risk are those who frequently take antibiotics, have cuts, ulcers, psoriasis, have recently had surgery, or suffer from weakened immune systems. So, what can you do to protect yourself? Follow the tips under “Practical steps you can take to protect yourself”. Please feel free to pass these tips along to your fellow club members.
In addition to these practical, and very easy tips you might want to boost your immune system. Boost your immune system by getting a good night’s sleep; eating plenty of vegetables and fruit; exercise; and laugh – at least once a day! Cut out processed foods, white flour and white sugar; Start buying products that are chemical free, without preservatives, or food additives.
For sore and achy muscles you may have developed at the gym use homeopathic Arnica cream. For healing cuts,and soothing inflammation, abrasions, eczema and psoriasis. try homeopathic Calendula cream. Lastly, some food for thought: people who have been treated with homeopathic remedies find that in general they feel much better in time and will opt for homeopathic treatment for colds and flu rather than flu vaccines, and antibiotics. Homeopathic treatment is safe, gentle, and without side effects.
Practical steps you can take to protect yourself:
• Wash your hands frequently for 10 -15 seconds with soap and water.
• Don’t share towels, or razors, when playing sports, or working out.
• Put a clean towel over gym equipment, locker benches, and sauna benches before using.
• Avoid the hot tub if you have an open wound.
• Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
• Avoid exercising at the gym when you are sick. Consider exercising at home instead to avoid passing on your germs, and of course, with a lowered immune system, you may be more prone to picking up germs yourself.
• Don’t walk around bare footed on carpets or on tiled floors. Wear flip-flops.
• Wash your sweaty clothes using the hot water cycle.
• Change out of your gym shoes after exercising and wash them occasionally in the hot water cycle.
Marilyn Freedman, B.A., HOM
Boston.com News www.boston.com/news/globe/health_science/ articles/2006/08/21/skin_scourge/ –
The Ottawa Hospital http://www.ottawahospital.on.ca/spotlight/mrsa/index-e.asp