Most of America wants to get fit now. Whether it is through yoga, Pilates, or supersets, there’s no resting when it comes to getting in shape. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to working out, and people are free to choose the plan that appeals to them. However, how would it feel, when the very place you go to get in shape, gives you diseases? I’m specifically talking about gyms, which we all know need not be very clean. That’s why you need to be very careful about your gym routine and maintain good gym hygiene. Here’s a look at everything you need to know about maintaining good gym hygiene.
Why You Need Good Gym Hygiene
A study by Nuffield Health, which is a health firm functioning in the UK, has shown that gyms can be a major hotbed for germs. Almost 74% of people said that fellow gym-goers never wiped down their machines after their session. Furthermore, 49% admitted that they had used bottles, towels, and other toiletries that weren’t theirs, while over 18% said they go gymming even while they are sick. Worse still, more than 16% admitted that they don’t wash their gym clothes and towels between workouts. While there aren’t many studies that directly correlate your gym habits and your health, it is easy to see why this is important. A gym can expose you to various kinds of germs, which can cause a cold, staph infection, flu, and other skin diseases. So, what’s the key to maintaining good gym hygiene? Here’s a look at various steps you can take to ensure that you are following good gym hygiene.
Guide on Good Gym Hygiene
Plastic water bottles serve as viral and bacterial hotbeds. Therefore, every time you grab your container, you are putting yourself in danger. Rather than investing in cleaning it religiously, you should invest in buying a useful metal bottle. Wash these metal bottles with hot water and soap, after coming back to home, and you are good to go. Also, don’t let sick people borrow your water bottle and pass on their illness to you.
Always Wipe and Wash
There’s no point wiping down your equipment if you don’t wash your hands right after. A combination of wiping your equipment and washing your hands is necessary to avoid catching diseases. Every time you switch machines, wipe them down, and go wash your hands. Or you could invest in some sanitizers or hand wipes, and use those to clean your hands.
Take Care of Your Gear
Even if you wash yourself a hundred times after coming back home, there’s no point if your gym gear stays dirty. These sweaty, dirty bags serve as an excellent home for fungi, putting you at risk of catching fungal skin diseases. To avoid contaminating the gym bag, always put dirty clothes in a plastic bag, and not directly into your gear. Once you get home, take the clothes out and put them directly into the washer. Similarly, pay attention to your shoes and ensure that you wipe them off using disinfecting wipes, and let them dry in the air.
Try wearing flip-flops to your gym shower to protect your feet from the fungi that have made these showers their home. Footwear provides a barrier between your feet and the shower floors, making them an effective safety measure. Once in a while, soak these in a 10% bleach solution to keep them, and your feet fungus-free.
Take it easy when you are sick and save other people from catching the disease by staying at home. In case you have the sniffles, flu or cold, take a break and stay at home. Do not hit the gym when you are croaking and have a very runny nose. Also, stay away if you have any open wounds.
Rethink Jacuzzi Usage
In case you have an open wound or any skin diseases, you might want to stay away from the Jacuzzis and other common pools. If you do use them, you will put other people at risk of catching the same infection.
Good Gym Etiquette
Whether it is the locker room or waiting zone, gyms have a fixed set of rules and regulations that everyone should follow. Apart from this, there are also some gym etiquettes that you should follow to remain a good gym-goer. Here’s a look at the different protocols you need to follow in the various parts of a gym.
- Make sure you respect people’s privacy and stay away from them when they have their headphones on. Having headphones on is a universal symbol for, “I would like to be left alone!”.
- Always wipe off your machines after you are done. No one wants to work out in the space left wet by your sweat.
- Make it a point to return all the free weights, balls, and any other piece of equipment you have used to their original space.
- Gym mirrors are put in place to help you watch your form and posture. Therefore, avoid lip gloss checks, ab adoration, and other cosmetic applications in front of these mirrors.
- Since there is a proper place for everyone in the gym, do your various exercises at the right place to do it.
- Rather than hogging all the equipment, make sure you share when the gym is jam-packed, and there aren’t enough weights.
- Don’t be too loud and start grunting loudly when lifting or dropping weights. Everyone wants peace and quiet while working out.
- Cover up while you are on the run, and avoid wearing anything too revealing as the cardio zone requires you to run a lot!
- Keep your quiet while on the treadmill, as talking while on the treadmill is a recipe for disaster.
- You cannot mark your territory or call dibs by leaving your towel or fanny pack on a mill.
Now that you know how dangerous gyms can be to your health, take the necessary precautions to make sure you don’t catch infectious diseases. Be a better gym goer for yourself and your neighbors by following these tips and tricks. Use this ultimate guide on good gym hygiene to use the gym safely and soundly. What are your favorite gym hygiene hacks?