Posts Tagged ‘earbuds’

Germ Patrol

March 21, 2016


When we think of spring cleaning, our minds immediately go to purging our closets, uncluttering our cupboards and giving things a good old fashioned scrubbing. While that is a great practice, there are little things that we often overlook that may be harboring nasty germs. When was the last time you cleaned your gym stuff?

Earbuds: They get tossed in your bag or your pocket with who knows-what-else, and then stuck inside your ears. Not only are they covered with bacteria from the bottom of your bag, or inside of your pocket, they are also covered in earwax and sweat from your ears. Take a moment to think about how gross that is, and then take action!
Use a toothpick to gently remove any visable gunk, and then wipe them down with a cloth that has been very lightly saturated in rubbing alcohol. Make sure the cloth is just damp, so that no moisture gets inside the earpiece. They will not only look and feel better, but they will sound better too!

Fitness Tracker:  We wear these items religiously on our wrists, day and night, and especially when we are working up a sweat. Do you ever think about cleaning them? Some trackers are water resistant and can be worn in the shower, like the Nike Fuel Band, while others need to be removed first. Make a habit of wiping down the band with either rubbing alcohol or a disinfectant wipe after hitting the gym. Would you take a shower and then put your used socks back on? Then don’t put your sweat covered tracker back on either. Most devices have manufacturer’s suggested methods for cleaning them. Fitbit suggests using a toothpick in the computer port in the back to gently remove any build up, and then using Q-Tips lightly soaked in alcohol to wipe the back area clean. (Are you seeing a pattern here yet?)

Gym Bag: We lay it on the floor, inside a locker and fill it with sweaty clothes and dirty sneakers, yet we don’t often think about cleaning it. If you use a washable bag, you are in luck. Toss it in the washer and dryer to freshen it up often. For many other bags, it isn’t quite so simple. Nylon bags can be wiped down with a soapy cloth and air dried. Wiping it down inside and out with an antibacterial wipe regularly is a good practice. Don’t forget the handles!

Yoga Mat: If you tote your own, its a good idea to keep it clean. Wipe it down with a solution of water and apple cider vinegar to disinfect it naturally and keep the rubber from degrading. Airdry it fully open and away from direct sunlight. If you use the mats available at the gym or studio that are shared by others, this might not be possible. Tote some antibacterial wipes along to give it good once over before beginning your practice.There are also special mat sprays available from a variety of sources, or you can make your own. Simply fill a small spray bottle with purified water (spring, distilled or filtered,) and a couple of drops of teatree oil and a drop of lavendar oil. Teatree oil is a natural antifungal and antibacterial and lavender helps  relaxation  and relieves tension. While you’re at it, give your sneakers a good squirt.

Phone: This is probably the most handled and germiest thing we own. It goes everywhere we go, and provides tunes to push us through our sweatiest of workouts. Show it some love, and clean it off. Apple does not advise using anything more than a lint free cloth to clean off their iPhones and iPads. Other sites claim a lint free cloth soaked in a little, you guessed it, alcohol is ok once in awhile. Apple also sells something called iKlenz spray, which is approved for use on their products. Using a screen protector is helpful as that can be wiped off, or easily and inexpensively replaced. The cases we use can be cleaned, and depending on the material they are made of, many can be removed and washed with a mild soap and water solution. Check with the manufacturer as to how you can clean your case.

Sneakers: Washing and drying sneakers isn’t a good idea, as it can damage the midsoles. If you do choose to put them in the washing machine, use a gentle cycle, and stuff them with newspaper to hold their shape while air drying. Alternatively, use a toothbrush to get the mud off of them, and a damp sudsy cloth to the uppers. Many companies from Amazon to Foot Locker sell a sneaker cleaning spray that is said to be very effective. A little squirt of mat spray (see above) or sprinkling them with baking soda after wearing them, helps to control the dampness and odor.

Now that you know what to do, get going and freshen up those germy gym accessories  today!

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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What’s in YOUR Gym Bag?

April 23, 2012

Today I decided to clean out my gym bag.

This bag is the clown car of all gym bags. I am amazed at what I pulled out of here, and I spared you the photo of the sweaty workout clothes, and dirty socks!

Every day, I lug this bag as I take B across town to school, go to the gym, walk 1-¼ miles or so to the office, and then back again, with a short grocery stop on the way home. In addition to this, I have an insulated lunch bag, and whatever clothes I need to wear for the day. On the way home, I add the groceries to the mix. DId I mention that I do all of this in 4-5″ heels? No wonder my shoulders and neck ache.
While many of my friends dream of employing chefs and laundresses, what I really need is a Sherpa.

Mind you, my gym has all of the various and sundry necessities: Kiehl’s shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion, deodorant, hair gel, mouthwash, razors and shaving cream. They even have great hairdryers, and cotton balls, Q-tips and feminine hygiene supplies. So why I am I carrying all stuff around?

Let’s take a look at the innards of my gym bag, shall we?

  • 2 pairs of sneakers: One for running/cross training and one specific for cycling. They are not interchangeable, and I often combine more than one type of exercise in a session.
  • Elastic knee brace and gel toe spacers: Over the counter remedies for my constant, yet chronic aches and pains. The big bottle of Advil? Same story.
  • Make-up bag
  • 1 metal water bottle: Water is a must for hydration, and disposable plastic bottles are bad for people and the environment. My beat up Cycle for Survival/Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital water bottle is a motivator to keep pushing and stay healthy.
  • IPhone and ear buds. Not only does it keep me plugged in at all times,my Equinox app functions as my gym membership card and lets me book my bike for cycling class and keep track of my workouts. Spotify provides the soundtrack via perfect playlists!
  • Hair elastics: A ponytail is a must! 5 ponytail holders? Not so necessary!
  • Deodorant, organic argon oil for my hair, and some feminine hygiene products.
  • Tums and an extra contact lens.
  • 2 mini flash drives, because one never knows when they will need to transfer data unexpectedly. I do know, that the likelihood that I will be doing this at the gym is quite low.
  • 5(yes 5!) different lipsticks and lip treatments. I never wear makeup at the gym, but the gooey tube of clear lip balm keeps me from chewing on my lips when the effort gets tough! The other 4? I’m not really sure why they are there!
  • Cash, Metrocard and my lock.
  • Wallet, sunglasses and keys. All legit.
  • 2 types of hairbrushes, one for brushing and one for styling.
  • Altoids: Have you ever gone absolutely anaerobic next to someone who ate garlic for dinner? Don’t be that person; have a mint.  The person on the next treadmill or bike will thank you for it!

I am about to repack this, and see what I can live without. I suspect it won’t be much more than a few lipsticks and a flash drive or 2.

I bet I am not the only one out there carrying my life around in a nylon tote bag. I just showed you mine, now you show me yours! What crazy things do you carry in your bag?

photo: Spencer Jones/Glasshouse Images exclusively for Indigo Jones

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