How to avoid getting the flu beyond just washing your hands

Last flu season nearly 38 million people came down with the illness. Of those, 531,000 were hospitalized, and between 36,400 and 61,200 people died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of course the usual advice is great: Get the vaccine, wash your hands often, and avoid contact with anyone who has been sick. But beyond that, is there anything else we can do? Most illness are spread by your hands, so using sanitizer and washing them regularly is extremely important, especially after coming home from a day in our germ-ridden world. So that really is the number one thing you can do. But what’s some other advice for avoiding the flu this season all together? Disinfect items you touch often. Your cell phone, tablet, and desk phone are all prime hiding spots for germs. You touch the outside world, then touch your cell, then put it to your…

These two workout classes are dirtier than your toilet

Gym classes are a great way to keep up motivation to workout. However the camaraderie you build when spinning or spotting isn’t the only thing you’re sharing. It seems that certain gym classes leave you more open to swapping bacteria. While all gym equipment — and all public places, for that matter — carry some expectation of germs, a recent study conducted by EllipticalReviews.com found that there are two gym classes in particular that are more unhygienic than a toilet. The researchers took three swab samples from equipment in four different workout classes (spin, hot yoga, barre, and weight-based workouts). The swabs were measured for the volume of microbes found and then the three samples were averaged to determine the level of colony-forming units (CFU). Weight-based workouts were the worst, with an average of 153,410 CFU detected on an average barbell. For comparison, a toilet seat comes in with about 3,200 CFU — that…