The gym can be a hotbed of disease. But don't shun your fitness facility just yet. If possible, bring some tools with you.

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The gym can be a hotbed of disease. In fact, "both MRSA, a potentially deadly staphylococcus bacteria, and rhinoviruses, the cause of the common cold, have been detected on gym equipment," says Charles Gerba, PhD, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona.

But don't shun your fitness facility just yet. Instead, "wipe down equipment with a disinfectant cloth and apply hand sanitizer after use," Gerba says. "

And if possible, bring some tools with you." Try these:

Gaiam Sol Dry-Grip Yoga Mat

($70; amazon.com)

Gym mats are usually sanitized only once a day. Bring your own: This "closed-cell" mat seals out germs, bacteria and unpleasant smells.

Camelbak Groove Insulated Water Bottle

($25; amazon.com)

Water fountains are a haven for bacteria and viruses because they're always wet. Sip safely with this portable filtered hydrator.

Ipanema Neo Love III Flip Flops

Athlete's foot is a big issue in gym showers. Protect yourself with these supercute heart-adorned flip-flops; the rubber outsole guards against slips.