Now that gyms are reopening across England, we are able to use all the exercise facilities we've been denied over the last four months. From barbell to treadmill, we're no longer limited by the exercise equipment we've got on hand at home.
However, there are still aspects of the gym we can't use thanks to the global health crisis, and one of those is shared water fountains.
You'll need to bring your own water if you're looking to access the gym and stay hydrated, but as you sweat and move your hands from barbell to bottle, bacteria can transfer from the top of the bottle to your hands, lips and eventually, the bottle's contents.
Reusable bottles also don't get washed nearly enough. One study published in the Journal of Exercise Physiology Online (opens in new tab) asked participants to hand over their bottles for testing after leaving a fitness centre. The study found bacterial contamination of 83% of used water bottles. Among the bacteria cultures found were E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Gross.
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We're paying so much attention to our personal hygiene these days, but we need to be mindful of changing our habits everywhere if we wish to avoid infection. Don't just leave that bottle in your gym bag: take it out and give it a good wash with soapy water between uses.
A novel new way of ensuring your gym bottle remains as clean as possible is getting one that cleans itself. The LARQ lightweight self-cleaning bottle actually flashes its contents with UV-C light over a period of 60 seconds, at the touch of a button, to eliminate viruses and harmful, odorous bacteria in your drink. Check out the full deal below:
LARQ Lightweight Self-Cleaning and Stainless Steel Water Bottle With UV Water Purifier, 710ml | now £78 on Amazon (opens in new tab)
The LARQ lightweight bottles mightnot be the cheapest bottle you've ever bought, but they incorporate technology allowing the bottle to clean its contents as soon as it's filled. A burst of UV-C light rids the water it carries of bacteria and viruses. It also keeps your water cold for up to 24 hours (or warm for 12). Comes in four colours (including the new two-tone Terra range) and two sizes: 710ml and 950ml models.
The bottle is USB rechargable and the power lasts up a month on full charge. Don't worry about the inclusion of technology in a water bottle, of all things: everything's splashproof, so the contents won't affect the gadgets inside it. The stainless steel casing gives the bottom a premium feel despite its "lightweight" status.
Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and News Editor at Fit&Well, covering all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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