7 Ways To Avoid Germs At The Gym

A woman doing bicycles at the gym

Most of us go to the gym to improve our health, but did you know you could pick up something at the gym that could make you ill? Viruses and bacteria can lurk for hours on the handles of crosstrainers and weight machines.

At the gym, you commonly expect to be able to exercise physically in an environment which is home to lots of diverse exercise equipment. Unfortunately, the gym is also a place where germs can become prevalent if you do not watch yourself and the environment around you.

If you’re not careful, you will either spread germs to others or contract them yourself, and since the gym is a place for exercise, you don’t want to lessen your experience by being unsanitary.

There are a number of common sense and practical solutions you can undertake to make sure that you can avoid germs at the gym. All it really takes is a little bit of focus and commitment to hygiene.

Don’t reuse exercise clothes

Warm moist clothes allow bacteria and viruses to multiply, which increases your chances of getting infected with whatever you picked up from gym machines or mats. It’s best to shower and change clothes immediately following your workouts.

Don’t go barefoot.

Wear flip-flops to the shower to avoid picking up a wart virus. But do go barefoot when you hit the shower so you don’t forget to wash your feet and in between your toes.

Cover up cuts

That will cut off an entry route into the body for germs like MRSA. MRSA that circulates in community settings like gyms tends to be less of a concern than tougher-to-treat strains that live in hospitals. MRSA picked up in the gym usually causes ugly spots or boils on the skin that clear up pretty quickly when treated.

Use disinfectant

Rub some on after using the elliptical or weight machines to get rid of any germs you pick up from these machines. If you’re not a fan of hand sanitizer, make an effort not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth while working out until you wash your hands. Or better yet, wipe down the machines with a cleaning spray or sanitizer wipe before you use it.

Don’t use the same towel to wipe your face after wiping machines

You’re just transferring germs from the machine to your mouth and nose where they can enter your body.

Don’t share soap or deodorant

Germs live on all these things, so best to bring your own personal grooming items to the gym.

Bring your own water bottle

Again, something that many people overlook, but what is so easy to do is to just carry your own water bottle from home. Doing so will allow you to hydrate yourself without having to put your lips to the gym water fountain or your water bottle to the gym water cooler. Germs can pass easily from the water fountain to your lips if others at the gym drink by putting their lips to the fountain. Likewise, germs can also pass from the water cooler to your water bottle if others at the gym press their water bottles to the tap on the water cooler.