Are you thinking of buying a membership at your local gym but the lack of knowledge about gym hygiene etiquette keeps you procrastinating?
And that is totally fine.
A gym is a populated place, after all, with lots of hygiene hazards. Knowing the basic gym hygiene rules is expected from every member of the fitness center.
As a beginner, you’ll have a lot of questions about different workout routines. What type of muscles different equipment develop, how to build a correct form, how many reps you need to do, etc? But, before you ask for help, make sure you approach other gym members with respect. Control your body odors and leave the gym equipment clean after using it.
So, be aware of the gym hygiene tips to remove the worries and focus your entire energy on your workout process.
Potential hygiene hazards in a gym facility
Your gym is not the cleanest environment to be in and you need to be aware of the potential risks that may take place.
You, as a fitness center member, have to sweat during your workouts if you want to burn calories and improve your body shape.
At the same time, consider that other gym members are doing the exact same thing as you do. They work out and sweat using the same equipment. This should bring up some question marks about potential hygiene hazards while working out in the gym. Skin fungus, scabies, staph infection, ringworm, etc, are all different types of infections that you can get through the germs present in a gym facility. These germs may hurt your health if you don’t follow good hygiene behavior in the gym, especially if your immune system is compromised.
Gym hygiene rules to follow in the gym
1. Bring a gym towel
It helps when you use the gym equipment. It absorbs the droplets of sweat that fall on the equipment, while you do your reps, and prevents the next person from dealing with it.
2. Wash your hands
Wash your hands before and after the gym, especially after. After the gym, your hands are very dirty due to picking up weights and using gym equipment. Wash the germs off your hands before you touch any of your own clean items, prepare or serve food, etc.
3. Control your body odor
The smell of your body might not be fresh if you visit the gym after work, especially during a hot day.
If this is the case, try to wash your armpits and use an antiperspirant before you hit the gym. This should diminish the intensity of the offensive body odor and other gym members, working out in close proximity to you, will appreciate that.
4. Leave the equipment clean
The equipment is among the dirtiest things in the gym, though, it is cleaned with disinfectant spray before the gym is open for everybody. However, this is not enough to keep the gym equipment hygienic if you don’t leave it clean after yourself.
5. Hands off your face
Try to avoid touching your face with your dirty hands during the workout to keep the skin on your face cleaner. Use your towel to absorb the droplets of sweat that comes up on your face as a result of your intense workout.
6. Clean your fitness mat
Your fitness mat does particularly the same thing as your towel and you should clean it on a regular basis as well. It serves as a barrier between the dirty floor and yourself. The difference is that the mat becomes dirty due to collecting the dust from the floor where everybody is walking.
Make sure to wipe down your fitness mat after each workout session.
7. Stay at home when you are sick
When the first symptoms of sickness showed up and you are continuously sneezing or coughing, do yourself a favor and skip the workout for two main reasons.
First, when you are sick with flue, for example, your body is weak and, at this point, it needs to rest for 3-5 days to recover its immunity. Going to gym serves a different goal, which puts more stress on your body instead of giving it the time to heal.
Second, attending the gym, while having flu, you share your infection to other gym members which will bother them. That’s not ethical at all. You better treat yourself at home and come back to the gym when you're healthy.
8. Cover any wounds on your body
If you have any cuts or broken skin cover them with a plaster or with a bandage to prevent germs from getting inside your body.
9. Separate the dirty clothes
After the workout, your clothes, socks, and sneakers are sweaty and smelly and you should separate them into a dirty clothes gym bag.
10. Shower at the gym
The next gym hygiene rule is showering.
Showering after the workout in the gym, like all communal showers, comes with certain hygiene risks. To make this process safe, bring with you specific shower accessories like a shower bag, a shower towel, flip flops or sandals, thongs, shampoo or soap, etc.
11. Don't share personal items
Personal hygiene items like towels, water bottles, soap, combs should not be shared with your friends at the gym. Your friends can pass over to you some kind of skin disease like fungus if they have it.
If you take note of these gym hygiene tips your workouts will be more efficient. Following an ethical behavior in the gym lets you focus less on your worries about the personal hygiene and safety and more on workout and progress.
As a beginner, you should be aware of the hygiene risks when you join a gym and behave to in such a way that it will keep this environment safe. Take a clean towel that will absorb the droplets of sweat. Leave the equipment clean after using it. Control your body odor when you visit the gym. All your actions contribute to a better environment in your gym.
When you respect the hygiene etiquette in a gym you worry less about the health issue and focus more on your fitness progress. Besides that, other gym members will respect you for your contribution to making the workout environment safer for them. Some experienced members might even give you tips and advice that will help you achieve your fitness goal faster.