5 Ways To Avoid Germs At The Gym
Author: Kaitlyn Chiu
The gym is one of the major places that give us germ creeps, especially when you watch a sweaty person walking away from the machine without giving it a decent wipe-down. We have all been there, staring at all the moisture on the seats and handles, contemplating if you should wipe it or just hope for the best and load your hands with sanitiser afterwards - and I genuinely hope you went for the first option.
A recent study by Fitrated found that weights had 362 times more germs than the average toilet seat, and the spinning bikes had 39 times more bacteria than a tray from your local cafeteria. How about the treadmill? Good questions, 74 times more bacteria than a public toilet faucet. Scary, I know.
Before the statistics freak you out even more, let's get on with some tips for better hygiene at the gym to avoid picking up germs.
Image Source: Youfit Health Club
1. Give The Equipment Some Love
Wipe down the equipment with anti-bacterial wipes or agent before you place your bare hands on. Of course, we also recommend wiping down after using the machine as a courtesy for the next person. If you use the yoga mat a lot and can't be bothered to bring your own mat, do a quick wipe down with anti-bacterial spray as well as germs can easily collect on yoga mats. Most gyms provide sanitary wipes or surface cleaner, don't be afraid to ask for them!
Image Source: Highlander
2. BYOT (Bring your own towel)
Packing a towel can be a hassle when you are already carrying a heavy gym kit with workout gear and trainers, but it is definitely worth it. We recommend investing in a sports towel that is thin, sweat-absorbent and quick-drying. The towels at your high-end gym might look fluffy and white, but imagine the number of people who have used the same towel - and how they rub it between their infested toes (okay, worst case scenario here). The detergent and washing machine can clean, but not necessarily spectacular when it comes to getting rid of bacteria.
Image Source: Tagtheworkout
3. Bring Your Own Water Bottles
Water fountains are quick and easy, but they are where bacteria swim around the most. You see cleaners sanitising and wiping down the toilet seats, but not so much for the water fountains. These water fountains often claim to have drinkable water and have passed certain tests - unless you can completely trust the tap water in your city and the cleanliness of your gym, filling your own bottle with filtered water from home is much safer.
Image Source: New Beauty
4. Use Your Own Products
Some beauty products are alright to share with your best mate, but products like bar soaps, razors, mascara, make up brushes, deodorant - they have intimate contact with your skin and sometimes you might even use them on minor cuts and wounds. Bacteria is easily transmitted through sharing, so bring your own kit and try to reduce the products you need by using multi-purpose products like. For example, coconut oil is great for shaving, removing make up and moisturising your skin!
Image Source: WebMD
5. Flip-flops Always
Gym floors are one of the major places where germs lurk, especially in the gym's shower stalls. Standing barefoot in any public spaces is putting your feet at risk of fungal infection such as athlete's foot. The easiest way to prevent this is keeping a pair of slippers in your locker and wear them during your shower (and for germaphobe like myself, in the changing room too) so your feet will not be in direct contact with the dirty floor.
These are small changes in habits, but your body will thank you massively.