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Under the best of circumstances, coping with the daily stresses of life can be overwhelming.  Psychologically, stress can cause depression, anxiety, irritability, and restlessness.  It can leave you feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, and unfocused.  Excessive stress can affect your sleep, impair your memory, and cause you to make bad decisions.  Physical symptoms of stress and anxiety include low energy, headaches, and muscle aches.  Stress affects your digestive tract and causes symptoms like diarrhea, constipation and nausea.  Prolonged stress and anxiety can cause chest pain, rapid heartbeat, loss of libido, frequent colds, and infections.  

 

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By now, most of you are sequestered at home, deep into your home workouts.  You’ve cobbled together a hodgepodge of at-home workout gadgets, rubber bands, and rusty dumbbells from the garage, and you’re doing your best to replicate the workouts you used to love at the gym.  (Remember the gym?) If you’re like me, your email and social media feeds are full of doorway stretch bands and foldable equipment that manufacturers tell you are so versatile, you’ll never need the gym again.  And if that’s not enough motivation, there are dozens of home workouts on-line that are only a few keystrokes away.  So I’m not going to “enlighten” you with yet another exercise routine, but rather offer some advice that will help you make the best of your home workouts, and may provide some additional solace during our national shelter in place.

  

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According to one study, the average treadmill in a public gym is teaming with germs; more than one million per square inch. That’s about 74 times more than you’d find on a public bathroom faucet.  Some of the common culprits are Athlete’s Foot, cold and flu viruses, staph, Ecoli and Hep A, and ringworm.  According to public health officials, the Coronavirus will likely be added to this list soon.  But before you run screaming from the gym, or worse, decide to give up your workouts, take heart.  There are some very easy steps you can take to avoid gym critters and remain healthy. 

 

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