How Gross Is It?

by Ryan Freebing

Before you begin reading, this information shouldn’t make you think twice about going to the gym and getting in your workout, not even for a split second. The gym has always been full of germs, and as long as you practice good “gym hygiene”, you should be completely removed from these situations.

To avoid going to the gym for fear of germs would mean you’d also need to avoid the grocery store, bathrooms, hotel rooms, restaurants, and, while you’re at it, even your own home. Unfortunately, you simply can’t escape bacteria and viruses. They’re everywhere, and as long as you’re smart about your health and keeping yourself clean, you shouldn’t have to worry about coming down with anything abnormal.

No one wants to live in a plastic bubble all of their life. When you practice good “gym hygiene”,  you are also helping others stay clean and safe too. Read up, and if you are doing any of these things at the gym, you’ll soon find out just how gross or how normal you actually are.

You Wear Old Gym Clothes.

How Gross Is It?

If you’re planning to partake in fitness activities, you’ll want to make sure you change out of those sweat-collecting gym clothes before carrying on with the rest of your day. Even if you think you didn’t sweat much, wearing old gym clothes isn’t the best way to save time on laundry and could lead you down a dirty path.

If you prefer to let the dice roll, you might end up with some minor acne in a few unflattering areas, including your chest, back, and arms. Worst case scenario, you’ll get a staph or fungal infection.

Don’t have time to shower and clean up after you sweat? Change into a fresh pair of clothes and find some body wash or wipes that contain benzoyl peroxide to quickly clean yourself up if you are in a hurry.

You Skip Washing Your Hands After The Gym.

How Gross Is It?

This might not the biggest offense, but it’s not the smallest one either. Odds are you won’t pick up any germs or microscopic particles after picking up all those weights or medballs, but there are a lot of other gym-goers banking on getting lucky too.

If you relate gym equipment to toddlers toys in a kindergarten room and think about all of the hands touching and playing with them in any given day, you can understand why it might be important to wash up before you leave, especially around the flu season.

Be mindful of touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your bare hands while working out too. Washing your hands (with soap) after using the urinals at the gym though, should always be a non-negotiable.

You Wash Your Blender Bottle Once A Week.

How Gross Is It?

Other than only utilizing it to consume water, you should probably be washing your meal replacement shakers every day.

If you are using a mixing agent like milk, it’s likely to generate a pretty funky smell quickly, a telltale sign it’s starting to formulate mold and bacteria. Other ingredients like sugar residue from smoothies could give birth to millions of germs in a short period of time.

There are a number of nutrition and supplement stores that actually give blender bottles away for free when you make a purchase, so you should have plenty of options back at home. If they don’t, ask if you can “represent their brand” and they might give you one for free anyways.

Don’t risk ingesting unnecessary bacteria or other fungi if you don’t have to though. Wash your blender bottles every day to keep everything that’s going into your body clean, healthy and safe.

You Shower At The Gym Barefoot.

How Gross Is It?

Most gyms sanitize their bathroom and showers on a regular basis (we hope), but as a general rule of thumb: the larger the gym, the more use it’s facilities are going to get, thus the greater the opportunity for germs to be present in the bathrooms and showers. A lot of germs, sweat and bacteria are being washed away in the shower and there is room for error if you are not careful where you step.

Unlike your bathroom and shower at home that is usually used in the morning and evening, a gym’s shower and bathroom areas are being used consistently throughout the day, which means they pretty much always stay damp and don’t have time to dry out. This is a germs favorite place to hang out.

In addition to this, you shouldn’t be walking around the gym barefoot either as this could lead to athlete’s foot or a mild case of plantar warts if you aren’t careful. If it’s a martial arts class, this is an exception, as the gym is more than likely taking precaution to clean their mats often.

Be sure to remove your gym shoes and socks when you get home after your workout too though as they are holding your sweat nice and tight to your skin. If you do get athlete’s foot, you can treat it with an over-the-counter fungal cream.

You Go Commando At The Gym.

How Gross Is It?

Even though it’s been ingrained in a lot of us from a young age to always wear underwear, due to a number of advancements in material, comfort and liner included apparel, a lot of gym-goers now prefer to go commando. And it’s actually not that gross. As long as what you are wearing is thick enough to not collect any bacteria that’s on a seat, ground or floor at the gym, going commando is relatively sanitary. As stated before, just make sure you don’t go commando in yesterday’s leggings or gym shorts without washing them. Because that is actually very gross.

You Don’t Cover Open Wounds, Scraps or Cuts.

How Gross Is It?

From box jump scraps to paper cuts, open skin wounds should be covered at all times when you are in the gym. Broken skin makes you more vulnerable to germs and it also means you are potentially sharing your germs with the rest of the gym. Make sure you bandage any wounds, cuts or scraps if you can. Remove the bandage and wash the area after your workout as well.

NFM Staff
Author: NFM Staff

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