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How to stay Hygienic whilst working-out
Working out and gym membership is important for healthy-minded individuals. However, not all gym-goers value their hygiene as much as they do their toned bodies. It’s been revealed that some gym-goers can sometimes act in very unhygienic ways.
Dirty Gym Habits to Watch Out For
In a recent survey of 2,000 gym-goers, compiled by Nuffield Health, they exposed some of the most shocking gym hygiene habits:
– Almost half, 49%, of all people surveyed admitted to secretly using a towel, toiletry or drink that wasn’t theirs.
– 18% of the polled gym-goers confessed that they had gone to the gym whilst suffering from a virus or otherwise sick and unwell.
– 16% of the surveyed gym community disclosed that they hadn’t even washed their gym kit between workouts on at least one occasion.
– A further 74% of people also revealed that they had witnessed another member commit a crime against hygiene, such as; not wiping down a sweaty machine after use, or leaving behind a dirty item of clothing.
Hygiene tips you should add to your Gym routine
We hope the dirty gym habits haven’t deterred you too much from your workout. Fortunately, we have compiled these excellent tips to keep you hygienic as well as healthy:
1) Wipe down all gym equipment before (and after) use.
Bacterial and viral infections can easily spread on the surfaces of gym equipment. We suggest wiping down every machine before and after use to minimise this risk. Carrying your own towel to cover seats and benches is also good practice.
2) Wash your gym clothes regularly.
Nasty odours can linger in stretchy materials such as Lycra, which is used in a lot of gym wear. We recommended getting changed out of your gym clothes immediately after use, showering properly and washing your clothes as soon as possible.
3) Wear protective footwear in communal pool and shower areas.
Wearing flip-flops or shower shoes greatly reduces the risk of picking up athlete’s foot, warts or other fungal spores. It is also recommended to disinfect your footwear on a regular basis too.
4) Bring your own mat for floor exercises.
This is particularly true for Yoga-based exercises, where it is necessary for you to rest your hands and face into the mat lining. By bringing your own, you can ensure it’s nice and clean, as well as germ-free.
5) Avoid the Gym’s communal water fountain.
Ever seen that really sweaty guy go straight to the fountain after running for an hour straight? Exactly! No offence to the individual, but his sweat has now dripped down the fountain’s tap. You don’t want to risk that going into your mouth.
6) Invest in a decent refillable water bottle.
We advise buying either a filtered or metal bottle, as these will be free of BPA (a chemical that has a questionable health effect). Clean it regularly with hot, soapy water, and be on high alert for the sneaky drink-sippers highlighted earlier.
7) Bring a Towel for Saunas & Steam room usage.
Many bacteria can flourish in hot and moist environments. To avoid getting a nasty rash in an inappropriate place, we suggest sitting on your own clean towel, as opposed to the public sauna bench.
8) Got an open wound or infection? Best to skip the pool today.
Any broken skin, open wound or similar infection is prone to attract nasty bacteria that are lurking in swimming pools or hot tubs. This is one of the most important gym hygiene tips, as you will also be transmitting bacteria from your wound into the water.
9) Feeling Sick? Have a day off to rest!
Whilst sick your body is prone to picking up additional infections. You will also risk contaminating your fellow gym-goers, which will, in turn, make it harder for you to shake off your illness.
10) Don’t Touch Your Face! Whatever you do.
Although possibly the most obvious tip, this is probably the most important but one of the hardest to comply with as we often don’t realise we’re doing it. As already established, communal gyms can be pretty grimy places; the last thing you want to do after being in contact with such surfaces is to then touch your face with the same hands. To combat this we suggest frequently washing your hands properly, especially after a gym workout session. Also, don’t wipe your face with the same towel that has picked up all the surface germs from the equipment! Use a paper towel if available.
Stay healthy at the gym
Through careful consideration of each of the gym hygiene tips above, we believe that users of public gyms, leisure centres and health clubs can keep themselves safe against a lot of viral, fungal or other infections that could otherwise cause problems.
Our aim is to empower our readers to remain hygienic when at their local gym or health club. We hope that you find these tips useful!