Posted on February 20 2019
The gym can be an amazing place to challenge yourself and better your health, but did you know it can also serve as a breeding ground for microorganisms and bacteria?
In this guide, we look at just how dirty your gym, and the equipment in it, can be. We also give you some tips for protecting yourself from the pesky microbes that might be lurking on your favorite squat rack.
You rarely think about how dirty a gym and its equipment might be, but doesn’t it makes sense when you think about it? It is, after all, a public place where tons of people go to sweat out the day’s troubles. How many times have you come back from the gym feeling a little bit gross? (I know I have!)
But did you know that countless colonies of bacteria (germs) might be found scattered across your gym?
One study conducted by the equipment review site FitRated, in which they tested bacteria levels on 27 pieces of gym equipment at a public gym, came back with some shocking results: “...it turns out the average treadmill, exercise bike, and free weight are all teeming with germs – more than 1 million per square inch apiece.” (Read more here)
One million germs on every inch of your equipment, yuck! Now, not all these germs are dangerous to your health, but many can be.
In an article for the Daily Mail, dermatologist Dr Arash Akhavan was quoted saying that staph bacteria, a microbe linked to MRSA, might be the biggest threat to gym-goers: “In terms of the most serious danger, that would be staph. That's very easy to contract, especially through sweaty skin.” (Read more here)
So, how do you avoid this exposure to bacteria?
Wipe. Down. Everything.
- Make sure you wipe down all the equipment you use before and after using it.
Bring some hand sanitizer!
- Purell anyone? Make sure to use hand sanitizer between equipment uses.
Bring your own mat
- Public mats can get pretty dirty, make sure to bring your own just to be safe!