H1N1 Concerns in Martial Arts

The H1N1 flu (swine flu) vaccine is finally arriving on scene and will hopefully limit the damage caused by H1N1.  I will not go into detail about H1N1 because I’m sure everyone has researched H1N1 to the ends of the Internet.  I will however,  give a friendly reminder (including myself) to every MA practitioner out there to take extra hygienic measures for the safety of your training partners and you.  For the hardcore dojo rats out there (you know who you are) I know training is a passion but if you have flu symptoms, please don’t try and sweat it out at the dojo…stay home and watch an instructional DVD instead!

Here’s a quick safety brief from Paul Rogers, About.com

Basic Things You Can Do to Protect Yourself

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick, CDC recommends that you stay home for 7 days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. This is to keep from infecting others and spreading the virus further.

Hygiene at the Gym – What You Can Do

Follow the broad advice above and encourage gym managers to implement a more vigilant hygiene policy if they have not already done so. This will have numerous safety advantages for you and your fellow gym members.

Don’t panic, exercise sensibly, eat well, rest well, wash your hands frequently and follow the basic precautions listed above and there’s no reason why you can’t continue to enjoy your gym and exercise program. It might even help you stay healthy.


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