Sharing gym equipment with strangers can lead to plenty of health hazards when a few simple gym hygiene tips aren’t followed by everyone. Find out how to protect yourself from germs at the gym and how to show your respect to others by not exposing them to your germs.
Reduce Exposure to Germs
Washing your hands thoroughly when you arrive and before you leave the gym is a no-brainer. What most don’t do is make sure they don’t touch their face too much after they’ve touched the gym equipment. It’s full of everybody’s germs and your hands will be very fast as well. If you need to touch your face or use your phone, use hand sanitizer first.
Wipe the Equipment Before and After
Good gym etiquette implies everyone has to wipe the equipment to remove their sweat once they use it. You need to do that as well, but also wipe it before you use it to be extra safe. That doesn’t include only big equipment with a bench, it also means you should wipe dumbbells and barbells.
Use 2 Towels
Most gyms provide a towel, but you should actually always bring your own, because you should be using 2 anyway. One towel is for wiping off equipment before and after using it, the other is for wiping your body and your own sweat.
Workout Mat Tips
When possible, bring your own workout mat to the gym. If you’re working out the right way, you will sweat and that’s the best option. If this is too difficult for you, at least wipe it with sanitizer before laying down. They’re always moist from the sweat and a great place for bacteria to thrive.
Don’t Get Too Close When You Don’t Have To
You should not go to the gym when you suffer from respiratory infections. Whether it’s a mild cold or the flu, sweat it out at home. Not everybody does that so when the gym isn’t packed, one of the best gym hygiene rules entails keeping your distance. If there are multiple identical pieces of equipment, like treadmills or stationary bikes, don’t use the one right next to someone who’s already there.
Don’t Shower without Flip-Flops
Showering is a must when you leave the gym to prevent taking all the bacteria along and spreading it on your regular clothes. However, bring your own flip-flops when you use a gym shower and you’ll prevent catching an unpleasant foot fungus.