7 Places Germs Hide at Your Gym
The gym has been highly scrutinized in this COVID era, due to the heavy breathing, sweaty equipment, and the close proximity to people. The gym has always been a place where germs are easily spread, but with the COVID situation everything has been heightened.
One of the conundrums about not going to the gym, or not living a healthy lifestyle, is it makes you highly at risk to death to the COVID disease. So getting in shape is absolutely necessary and going to a clean gym is top priority, the benefits outweigh the risks. The first step to avoiding gym germs is knowing where they live. Below are some of their favorite health club hangouts, along with precautions you can take to protect yourself.
Hotzone#1: Water Fountains
The water that comes out the water fountain is most likely clean, but the surrounding areas of the fountains are suspect. The handle of the water fountains are known to carry microbes that you want to avoid, also the mouth of the fountain can contain germs. The best way to avoid these germs is to bring your own water bottle and avoid the water fountain all together. If you must use the water fountain, make sure that you don’t put your mouth on the mouth of the water fountain. Also after touching the handle of the water fountain make sure that you wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer.
Hotzone #2: Locker Rooms and Showers
Germs love wet and humid places, so the shower and the sauna are at high risk. The biggest threat is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a bacterium that can cause skin infections. Showers are also known to pass on warts, ringworm, strep, athlete’s foot and other, fungi.
The best way to stay safe is to shower at home—but if you must use the steamy gym shower in the locker room, wear flip-flops to avoid contacting those nasty floor inhabiting microbes(and to prevent slipping). More best practices is bring your own antimicrobial soap and shampoo, make sure your feet are dry after showering, and sit on a towel in the steam room or sauna.
Hotzone#3: Yoga Mats
Whenever you are using a mat at the gym keep in mind that microbes love to contaminate these surfaces. These mats have been used by multiple people, which means it has multiple people sweat and germs. The best way to avoid this problem is to bring your own mat, but if you do use a gym mat make sure that you sanitize it and also put a clean towel on it for extra precaution.
Hotzone#4: Cardio Machines
Treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes are very known to carry germs because there are many places a person can touch. Also there’s a lot of little nooks and crannies on these machines. The best way to stay safe is to use hand sanitizer after you use the equipment. Also you should sanitize all the touching areas before and after you use the equipment.
Hotzone #5: Weight Machines & Free Weights
Similar to the cardio machines, weight machines have many places that are touched so germs like to hide in small places with these machines. You must use hand sanitizer after using the machine. You also need wipe down the machine, using sanitizer, before and after use.
Hotzone #6: Gym Bags
Your gym bag can also be a high trafficked area for germs due to the contact from the floor or the benches.. To prevent your bag from being contaminated use bags that are more germ resistant, like plastic, or vinyl, also sanitize your bag when you get home. Store sweaty clothes in a separate plastic bag.
Hotspot #7: Towels
Even if the gym towels have been washed the towels can still pick up germs from the towel bin, the lockers, the shelf, etc. The way to avoid these germs is to bring your own towels, bring a towel for wiping down your body from sweat, a towel to put on the gym equipment, and a towel if you plan on using the gym showers.