PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — People understand that you can pick up a cold or a flu at the gym. But really some of the most common things that you pick up are skin infections. That’s because germs that cause skin infections can thrive in the sweat that’s left on exercise equipment and towels, as well as the warm, moist areas like pool decks.

Staph infections such as MRSA can be a little more worrisome because they’re resistant to some antibiotics and so they’re a bit harder to treat. But those infections as well as really common infections such as plantars warts and athlete’s foot and jock itch can all typically be prevented.

READ MORE: Crews Spend Hours Trying To Gain Control Of Massive Scrapyard Fire On Neville Island

Experts at Consumer Reports say common sense strategies can help keep you healthy while working out.

READ MORE: Pine-Richland Head Football Coach Eric Kasperowicz And Entire Coaching Staff Will Not Return In Fall
    • Start by keeping cuts covered. That’s the best way to keep germs out.
    • Spread a towel over weight machines and always wear flip-flops in wet areas.
    • Bring your own exercise mat and disinfect it regularly. Chances are, the ones at the gym are not thoroughly cleaned between classes. Some germs can live for days on those mats, as well as other surfaces in the gym such as weight machines and locker room benches.
    • Practice good hygiene by wiping down equipment, washing your hands after a workout and showering after a swim.
    • And, do your laundry. Washing your gear helps prevent germ build up after you bulk up.

Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter

Consumer Reports also suggests taking a good look around a gym before you join. Check to see if the equipment is well maintained, if the bathrooms and locker rooms are kept clean and stocked with liquid soap and alcohol-based hand sanitizer. All can be indications of how clean a health club is.

MORE NEWS: Johnson & Johnson Vaccine To Remain In Limbo While Officials Seek More Evidence

Complete ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website. Subscribe to CR.org.