How to Remain Clean While Exercising

Having a gym membership and exercise are vital for healthy-minded people. However, not every gym-goer valued their cleanliness as much as they value a toned body. It’s been discovered that some people who work out in gyms sometimes don’t act very hygienically.

We’ll start by bringing up a few of the worst case scenarios regarding unsanitary conditions in gyms due to people disregarding proper hygiene.

Unhygienic Gym Habits to Be Aware of:

A recent study by Nuffield Health involving 2,000 gym-goers exposed a few of the worst case scenarios and the gym hygiene behavior that were the most shocking:

– Nearly half, 49 percent of all the gym participants surveyed admitted they secretly use a towel, toiletries or a drink that didn’t belong to them.

– Eighteen percent of those polled admitted they went to the gym when they had a cold, some sort of virus or otherwise were sick and felt unwell.

– Sixteen percent of the people surveyed divulged they didn’t clean their gym kit in between gym sessions at least once.

– An additional 74 percent of them said they had seen other gym members commit a hygiene sin i.e. they didn’t wipe off a sweaty gym machine after using it, or they left a dirty piece of clothing at the gym.

HPV in Gyms

Did you know that HPV (human papillomavirus) is contagious and that gyms are one of the hot spots for transfer? HPV is the cause of warts. Plantar warts – warts on the feet – are the most common warts which are spread in the gym, typically from walking in shower rooms or in pool areas.

Cleanliness hints you need to add to your gym visits

Hopefully the above examples of bad hygiene at the gym won’t deter you from working out. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to keep you healthy and clean while at the gym.

Our Top 10 Hints for Better Hygiene at the Gym

1) Always wipe off gym machines both prior to and after using them.

Infections due to bacteria or viruses spread quite easily, including if an infected person didn’t wipe down a piece of gym gear after using it. Due to this, it’s recommended that you always wipe down a gym machine or piece of gear prior to using it, as well as afterward to keep others from getting sick. It’s also a good idea to bring your own towel so you can use it to cover seats or benches at the gym.

2) Always launder gym clothing after use.

Bad odors, as well as germs can stay in gym clothing, especially if it is made of a stretchy fabric like Lycra as many gym outfits are. It’s recommended that you should change out of dirty gym clothing as soon as possible after working out. Immediately after a gym session you should take a shower, get dressed in clean clothing, and when you get home put your dirty gym clothing into the laundry so it can be washed asap.

3) Always put on some type of protective footwear in all community pool, shower or locker room areas. By wearing some type of shower shoes you lower your risk of getting diseases like Athlete’s foot, fungal infections, or plantar foot warts. Plus, you should disinfect those shower shoes regularly.

4) Always bring your own floor mat for doing exercise.

Bringing your own exercise mat is especially a good idea if you are doing yoga type exercises, as normally you will be placing your hands and face onto a mat. If you bring your own exercise mat, you will know it is clean and free of germs.

5) Don’t drink out of the water fountain at the gym.

If you have ever noticed some really sweaty person get a drink at the gym water fountain after running around for an hour, you will know why it’s a bad idea to drink from these communal fountains. Why? Because their germy sweat drips right down onto the tap where you place your mouth to drink. No one wants the risk of drinking those germs.

6) Buy a good water bottle that you can refill.

It’s recommended to buy either a metal water bottle or one that filters the water. Normally either of these won’t have any BPA which is a chemical that is thought to contribute to getting cancer. You should keep your water bottle clean by washing it regularly using hot, soapy water. And after we talked earlier about people who sneak a drink from a stranger’s water bottle, be sure to keep yours where you can see it at all times.

7) Bring your own towels.

Lots of kinds of bacteria live in places that are hot and humid like a gym or sauna. If you don’t want to develop a rash from some disease, it’s best to bring your own clean towel to sit on or use in the shower and never sit on a bare public shower chair.

8) If you have any open wounds or infection, don’t go to a public pool or hot tub.

If someone has an open wound, broken skin of any kind or an infection, you are even more prone to catching some kind of problem from icky germs that could be living in a public swimming pool, gym or hot tub. This is a top example of tips for good hygiene at the gym as it works both ways. You could also pass on whatever type of bacteria or other germs you have if you are sick or injured.

9) Do you think you are sick? You should stay home and rest!

If you are sick, it means you are more likely to have a low resistance to picking up some other type of illness. Plus, you could make some other gym goer sick.

10) Never touch your face while working out in the public gym.

This could be the top obvious hint of all when it comes to gym hygiene. But it is also very hard to keep from doing it. Some people don’t even know they do it.  As we already said, a communal gym is likely a very dirty and unhygienic place, so you don’t want to touch surfaces you’re your hands and then touch your hands to your face. You should always wash your hands after a workout session. And never wipe your face with the same towel you used to wipe off the gym gear or machines. If possible use paper towels.

Remain healthy while working out at the gym

If you pay close attention to the aforementioned cleanliness hints and tips, gym users or those who go to leisure centers or health clubs will be able to stay safe from germs, viruses, fungi, warts or bacteria they might pick up while working out.

We hope you have found these suggestions helpful so you can have better cleanliness while trying to get healthy at the gym.