While visiting your local gym, did you notice people with bad hygiene habits?
Usually, you don’t want to use the exercising equipment after these gym-goers because they smell bad, don’t properly use the towel, or have other annoying poor hygiene habits in the gym. They just follow the gym hygiene etiquette.
Besides that, these are the people who have the biggest chances of catching a fungal infection in the gym. For these types of gym-goers, it is a very common thing because they expose themselves to sweaty clothes and germ-ridden exercise equipment, which can add up and spread skin infections among other members of the gym.
I assume that you are not like that and you want to prevent bad hygiene habits in the gym to maintain the gym safe and healthy for all members.
Find below the type of bacteria is present in the gym and which gym hygiene habits promote poor hygiene.
The dangers of gym bad hygiene
The risk of getting sick is present on public transport, on the street, or at work but, in the gym, we are even more vulnerable to bacteria and skin infections.
During training, our skin comes into contact with the surfaces of training equipment where others sweated before us.
So, the risk of catching not just a banal flue, but something more serious, is much higher.
Here are some of the most popular infectious bacteria present in the gym:
- Coli bacillus
Most often, E. coli bacteria can be caught when you don’t wash your hands properly. Also, this bacteria lives on exercise equipment, door handles, barbell bars, or on yoga mats, which may cause gastrointestinal disorders.
To prevent these gastrointestinal disorders, wash your hands with soap after exercising, drink water from the bottle without touching the lips with the top.
E. coli can cause nausea and upset the stomach.
Streptococcal bacteria are transmitted by airborne droplets.
This bacteria thrives especially well in warm and humid environments such as in saunas, showers, and fitness clubs where these are found on the handles of the exercising equipment.
When this bacteria gets inside the human body, it can cause sore throat and pneumonia.
To avoid strep infection, wash your hands after each workout in the gym and dry them out with a towel.
- Pathogenic fungus
This is perhaps the most common infectious bacteria that haunts the ever-forgetting shower slippers. As you guessed, the fungus lives in humid and warm places such as the floor in a shower, sauna, or bath.
The shower rug can also become infected with fungus if someone is standing on it with bare feet.
The fungus can also exist on towels if they are washed at low temperatures.
- Staphylococcus aureus
To become infected with Staphylococcus aureus, you just need to place a towel, for example, on a bench press, where someone else was working out.
After a while, a redness irritation appears on the body and characteristic inflamed pustules with a golden crust may appear.
The unpleasant thing is that the bacterium is very resistant to many antibiotics
- Human papillomavirus
The usual route of getting infected with this bacteria is through direct contact with an infected person.
Nearly one in two adults in the world is infected with one of the more than 200 HPV types.
This is the most common sexually transmitted disease. However, you can get infected with this bacteria in the gym as well.
The fact is that HPV can exist for a short time outside the human body. It enters the body through abrasions and scratches on the skin.
Gym bad hygiene activities
1. Using yoga mats without cleaning them
Some gym-goers unfurl the available yoga mats in the gym and use them.
The problem is that these yoga mats have been used by others before you and, most likely, were not cleaned up after that. If not cleaned, using yoga mats from the gym is not the best idea.
Consider the sweat droplets from another person plus the dust gathered on the mat and it creates a perfect breeding ground for germs.
Even better if you’d bring your yoga mat to the gym and train on your own it.
2. Not removing the makeup before having an intensive training
Not removing the makeup before the cardio training leads to compiling the makeup, sweat, and germs on the skin of your face. This level of dirt clogs the pores of the skin, which may cause acne, rashes, or inflamed skin.
To prevent this, carry with you makeup remover wipes and use them before having intensive training.
3. Not washing the water bottle
While exercising at the gym, hydration is important.
So, you should have a bottle of water with you to take a sip between the reps.
The problem with some gym-goers is that they don’t wash their bottle before filling it with water and along with the water they sip the bacteria as well.
Generally, it’s recommended to drink water without touching the top of the bottle with your lips and tongue. Pour water into your mouth until it’s full and that’s enough.
4. Not covering the fitness equipment with a towel
Most of the fitness equipment in the gym has droplets of sweat or some kind of germs on it because other people have used it before.
That’s why you shouldn’t use them without creating a barrier between your body skin and the padding. Use a t-shirt or a towel for that reason.
5. Not treating your wounds
The process of lifting weights often creates calluses on the hands or wounds. The tears in the skin can be the way you might get infected.
In such a case, you should wear some form of gloves or cover the wound.
6. Skipping on showers
Some gym-goers don’t take showers after their workout.
This means that after having intensive exercise and abundant sweating the level of sweat, germs, and bacteria remained on their skin, which can lead to developing body odor.
It’s recommended to take a shower after working out in the gym whether you do that at home or in the gym.
7. Jumping into the swimming pool without going through the shower
If there is a swimming pool in the gym, it’s an unhygienic habit to jump into it right after working out on a treadmill.
There are people in the water who don’t want to share your sweat and dirt in the swimming pool.
To prevent this go through a shower before jumping into the swimming pool.
8. Walking around barefoot
After taking a shower in the gym, some walk barefoot around the locker room, which puts them at risk of catching an Athlete’s foot.
If you don’t want to have itchy feet make sure to wear flip flops in the dressing room.
If you have bad gym hygiene and you don't do any post workout hygiene activities, your chances of catching something in the gym is much higher.