7 Things You Should Never Touch at the Gym
Maybe you joined a gym as your new year's resolution and are still going strong. Maybe you are just starting to go to the gym because of the realization that swim suit season is just around the corner. Whatever your reason is, do not let the fact that your gym is crawling with germs deter you from working out!
Yes, gym owners do their best to keep things as clean as they possibly can, but germs are going to be a part of every gym. Just remember the bottom line is, that regular workouts benefit you more than the chances of you getting sick from germs at your gym if you use common sense and practice good hygiene.
Here are the surfaces and areas to be aware of in your gym that may have a greater amount of bacteria than normal.
Source: Yahoo Health
Ever noticed the sign by the pool that says "Please shower before and after you use the pool"? There's a reason for that. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 58 percent of tested pool filters contained E. Coli bacteria (possible fecal contamination). Think the pool is clean because you smell chlorine? Think again, because a "healthy" pool shouldn't have much of a smell at all. The "chlorine smell" is actually a mixture of chlorine, bacteria, sweat and urine.
Gym owners do their best to wipe off the equipment, but with the amount of people using the weights and other pieces of equipment, it's almost impossible to keep things sanitary 100 percent of the time. As sweat drips and then dries on the equipment, those weights or treadmill could become a breeding ground for fungi, bacteria or viruses. Remember to wipe off the equipment when you are done and use a hand sanitizer regularly.
Your love of the game may cause you to develop a staph infection. According to a study done by the University of California, Irvine, the bacteria that causes staph infections has the ability to live on basketballs for up to 72 hours. This doesn't mean to give up your dream of being discovered by the NBA during a pick-up game at your gym, but it would be a good idea to use a sanitizing wipe on that basketball before and after the game.
If the first thing you do to start your gym routine is grab a mat and stretch out, you might want to think again. Mats used by everyone in the gym can cause everything from staph infections to warts to cases of diarrhea. Studies show that people are more likely to get bacterial infections from skin-to-skin contact and being in contact with frequently touched objects (like benches, mats and equipment) and have a cut or scrape on their skin. If you still want to use a mat and stretch out before your workout, play it safe and bring your own.
Who would have thought that your own personal workout bag, filled with your own personal clothes and shoes would be something to avoid when you go to the gym? When you put your sweaty clothes and and shoes back into your bag after the workout, you are also putting the germs from the gym in the bag, too. Remember to wash your clothes after every workout and wipe the souls of your workout shoes with a sanitizing wipe.
If you are working out, you already know how important it is to stay hydrated. But remember, if you are filling your own water bottle at a water fountain or sink, you are exposing yourself to other people's germs. Research has proven that public water fountains and sinks have a large amount of bacteria - many times more than your dog's water bowl. Use common sense. Stay hydrated, but bring enough of your own water from home.
You probably aren't going to lay around on the locker room floor after a workout, but just in case..... Studies show that the fungus that causes athlete's foot is commonly found not only in a shower, but also a locker room floor. If you choose to shower at the gym after your workout, remember to bring some shower shoes (flip-flops) and wash your hands regularly in the locker room.