It’s certainly no secret that one of the sweatiest and potentially dirtiest places on the planet is a public, private or school gym. The workout machines alone are a magnet for germs and potential illnesses, not to mention the floors and locker rooms. We can’t just stop exercising and we see new fancy and shiny fitness studios popping up all the time. So the real question is, whose responsibility is it to make sure everything stays squeaky clean: ours or theirs?
Some people will argue that it’s the facilities responsibility to keep things clean. After all, you never know when OSHA is going to surprise you with an unannounced visit. However, most regular gym rats would agree that rarely do the gym’s staff chase behind people on treadmills with a bottle of disinfectant in hand so where does that leave us? Perhaps it shifts the more practical responsibility onto us. Now may be the time you silently ask yourself when was the last time you actually wiped the stairclimber down. No one is implying that you are unhygienic by any means, but perhaps you were in a rush, or didn’t see anyone waiting for your machine or maybe there wasn’t anything available to disinfect with. Well, what if the gym employee is thinking the EXACT same thing?
While it may seem as though the facility is ultimately the responsible party, don’t bank on it. Take matters into your own hands and if you don’t already, start toting around your own bottle of disinfectant. It’s efforts like these that keep things copasetic and keep chances of contracting a contagious skin infections or bacterial illnesses lower. Most of us are familiar with the more common skin illnesses and diseases like MRSA and Staph infections, but there are other, less obvious germs and bacteria floating around the gym. The following should help to explain what some of them are and what you need to know about them:
*What is it? Human Papillomavirus
*How do I get it? It’s not just a sexually transmitted disease as it also the virus that causes warts in the throat and on the feet known as Plantar Warts.
*How do I avoid it? Don’t walk around barefoot in gyms, bathrooms and locker rooms and wash your hands and feet immediately if they do come in contact with the floor.
*What is it? Klebsiella
*How do I get it? Through contact and sharing items and machines such as weights, water fountains, workout mats, wrestling mats, cardio machines, etc…
*How do I avoid it? It’s a bacteria so you will need to disinfect all surfaces before and after each use and always remember to thoroughly wash your own hands frequently.
*What is it? E. Coli
*How do I get it? Since the bacteria originates in the intestines and stool of animals, you can pick it up just about anywhere. Think pet owners and people who work with animals because there is plenty of those at the gym. Toilet handles and toothbrushes are also interesting way to contract E. Coli.
*How do I avoid it? Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before and after you hit the gym. If you are a pet owner, wash your hands after interacting with your pet.
*What is it? Candida
*How do I get it? Since it’s the number one culprit of all fungal infections, you can pick it up as athlete’s foot, ringworm, jock itch or a yeast infection from any warm, moist place where the fungus loves to live. Think locker rooms, saunas, swimming pools and showers.
*How do I avoid it? Avoid walking around in your bare feet anyplace at the gym and be sure you are using clean, unused towels and clothing. Also soak your used clothing in Clear Gear as soon possible after using.
*What is it? Streptococcal Bacteria
*How do I get it? This one is super tough to avoid since there are 20 known types of strep bacteria and it’s airborne. This makes it incredibly easy to catch anywhere, but especially in a sauna (think water droplets and steam), doorknobs, exercise equipment, free weights, toilet handles and just about everywhere else.
*How do I avoid it? Keep yourself clean and disinfect your gear regularly with Clear Gear Disinfectant Sports Spray.
*What is it? Influenza
*How do I get it? Since the flu is one of the most contagious viruses in the world, you can get it anywhere and from anyone. Since you may be carrying the virus before symptoms appear, you can be at the gym working out the day before going about your normal business just transferring the influenza virus everywhere from the stairclimber, to the treadmill and even the water fountain.
*How do I avoid it? Since the flu can be very brutal, prevention is key. However, making sure you spray down gym equipment with Clear Gear Disinfectant Sports Spray is your best defense. Never share gym clothes, towels or water bottles and avoid shaking hands or hugging until you have had ample time to shower.