5 GERMIEST PLACES IN THE GYM
5 GERMIEST PLACES IN THE GYM
OCTOBER 28, 2013
BY JEFF HIERS
Few people give any thought to the germiest places in the gym. Ask random people what they think about gyms, and chances are, majority of the answers will be something along the lines of: “it’s where you go to get healthy and fit.” That kind of answer is actually an ideal that is promoted by health buffs, fitness instructors, and wellness gurus. Actually, a gym is really a place for exercising – for toning muscles and building cardiovascular strength. The goal, of course, is becoming healthy and staying that way.
However, a gym can also do the opposite and be a source of numerous infectious diseases. Bacteria and viruses are all around us. They float in the air that we breathe, hide in various nooks and crannies, multiply in moist places, and infect us opportunistically. The good news is, some of the germiest places in the gym can be dealt with easily and effectively.
GERMS ARE ABUNDANT IN GYMS BECAUSE OF THE FOLLOWING REASONS:
- Numerous people use the gym and its facilities – some of them may be carriers of infectious diseases. Even with membership-only gyms, there is no pre-entry screening done. It is typically assumed that anyone who enters the gym and uses it, is fit to do so.
- Moisture is plentiful in the gym – sweat that rolls off or drips from the bodies of the people exercising often accumulates and stays where they accumulated, such as equipment handles, towels, or exercise mats. Moisture leads to dampness, which is a breeding ground of germs and fungi that harbor communicable diseases.
- A typical gym is enclosed – the air that circulates inside most gyms is not fresh, because of the walls and the artificial ventilation being used. Stale air is bad for the lungs and can contain dangerous contaminants.
- Touch point interaction is heavy – this is especially true during peak hours, when clients use the equipment in quick succession. Anything that has been touched by othersis subject to suspicion. No one really knows whether equipment handle that has been touched, or a mat that touched the sweaty body of someone else is free from contamination.
THESE ARE FIVE OF THE GERMIEST PLACES IN THE GYM:
- Lockers – dark and dank, lockers are bound to harbor persistent disease-carrying germs. Plus, locker room itself is also extensively populated with infectious agents that we cannot see with our naked eyes.
- Cardio machines – sweat, as well as saliva (from sneezing and coughing, sometimes from drooling out of exhaustion) drip from people who use cardio machines. Plus, the towels used for wiping these kinds of discharge may be placed on the handlebars.
- Exercise mats – anyone who uses a mat that has already been used a gazillions times is fair game to a concerted attack by the host of germs that silently live on these heavily shared gym materials.
- Bathrooms – floors are often left wet, with shower heads or faucets dripping; dirt is also tracked in by shoes that have been brought from outside, bodily fluids are not always contained.
- Weights (dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells) – these are among the most frequently used gym equipment which is why they rank as one of the germiest places in the gym. Fortunately, some of the larger gyms are placing sanitizing wipes at each station which helps germ reduction.
To ensure that the highest standards of cleanliness and sanitation are observed, engage a professional janitorial service company to take care of your facility on a nightly basis. Then you can use your employees to spot clean the germiest places in the gym during regular hours.