Barefoot at the gym is the way to go sometimes whether it is a yoga class, a Pilates class, or even the latest Barre or The Dailey Method class.  Sometimes you may go barefoot around the locker room or around the indoor pool.   However, it is important to be aware of what lurks on the floors that can affect your feet.  Foot fungus that affects toenails and causes athlete's foot is rampant, as are some bacterial infections that may affect the skin of your feet.  The best way to prevent any of these is to refrain from going barefoot unless necessary.  Even in the gym shower, or walking to and from the side of the pool, water shoes or waterproof sandals are recommended. Warts are lesions on the feet caused by the HPV virus that appear as raised papillary lesions covered with thickened skin.  The virus that causes warts thrives in warm, moist environments and can be passed from one person to the next in areas such as gym floors, the side of swimming pools, or even gym mats.  Yoga mats are included!  Therefore, be sure to bring your own mat to your class.  If you must borrow someone else's mat or use one at the yoga studio, just be sure it is cleaned thoroughly before use.  In order to prevent  fungus or bacteria to grow on your mat, or to prevent any unwanted ailment from someone else's mat to transfer to your feet, it is important to clean your yoga mat periodically.  It is a good idea to use a special mat cleaner or a simple solution of vinegar and water and spray it clean.  Some people even wash their mat in the washing machine or in the shower using antibacterial soap.  Taking care of your mat can be the first step in taking care of your feet! Simple steps to take simple precautions before going barefoot at the gym can prevent some foot ailments.  If you think you may have any of these or are not sure, make an appointment and have your feet examined by our doctors.  

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