Staying Healthy at the Health Club
Gyms can be a great resource for many reasons. You don’t have to buy your own equipment, many gyms have hours that fit convenient with your schedule as well as several locations, and they usually have a whole staff of trainers and classes to help you get personalized attention as you work towards your fitness goals. However, due to the high volume of people that come through the average gym, you need to be sure you’re arming yourself against germs. One study found some disturbing trends about your friendly neighborhood gym:
● The average treadmill has 74 times more germs than a public bathroom sink.
● Free weights have 364 times the bacteria found in a public toilet.
● More than 70% of the germs found in health clubs are harmful to humans and some are resistant to antibiotics.
You don’t need to go avoid the gym or wear a bubble when you work out, but not everyone washes their hands when they should and you don’t want your summer plans to be waylaid because you didn’t take precautions at the gym. Here are a few ways you can avoid falling ill while you’re getting healthy:
● Wash your hands often.
● Carry antibacterial hand gel with you and use it often.
● Wipe down machines with disinfectant before and after using them.
● Bring your own towel and put it on the machine before using it.
● Never go barefoot in the gym—especially in the locker room—and wait to shower at home.
● If you absolutely must shower at the gym, remember your college days and bring a pair of flip flops to wear in the shower. You may feel silly, but you’re much less likely to get a weird foot fungus.
● Avoid using community exercise mats. If you use one often enough, invest in your own and wipe it down with bleach wipes after each visit to the gym.
● Keep your distance from other people in aerobics classes. This can be difficult if it’s a popular class, so if you have to stay close, avoid setting up next to that one lady who sounds like patient zero of a new strain of tuberculosis.
● Washing your workout clothes in warm water and regularly sanitize your gym bag; you definitely don’t want to bring those germs home with you!
● If you’re sick, stay home. Wanting to stay on point with your routine is understandable, but you also don’t want to be the one who gets everyone else at the gym sick. Be sure you respect the shared space. Plus, if you take it easy for a few days, you might feel better faster and then you can get back to business!
You don’t have to bring a hazmat suit to the gym in order to avoid getting sick, but taking a few of these precautions can help avoid an unnecessary illness. Let’s be honest—you’re too busy to be sick! So wash your hands, be careful, and have fun working towards your health and fitness goals.
 “How to Avoid Germs at the Gym | Blog.” Towel Supercenter, 23 May 2016, www.towelsupercenter.com/Blog/how-to-avoid-germs-at-the-gym.html.