If you are lucky enough to have a gym attached to or nearby your workplace, consider yourself one of the fortunate ones! Being able to access comprehensive workout facilities without having to make additional journeys can be extremely motivating and convenient to say the least. On the downside, the workplace gym also has the potential to be one of the most germ-ridden environments on Earth.
Why is this? For multiple reasons – including the fact that not only are gyms used by large numbers of people, but the warmth and moisture all around represents nothing less than a perfect breeding ground for fungi and germs. In addition, quite a lot of touching, coughing, sneezing, sweating and scratching goes on in the average gym – all of which doesn’t exactly paint a picture of health and gym hygiene.
On the plus side, this doesn’t mean for one moment that it isn’t easy enough to stay safe and well while visiting the gym on a regular basis. Instead, it’s simply a case of being aware of the most unhygienic places in the average gym, in order to ensure you a) protect yourself from the nasties around you and b) pay close attention to cleaning such places, should it be your responsibility to do so.
Here’s a quick rundown of the five most unhygienic places in the average gym:
1. Lockers – First of all, you might get the impression that those polished metallic lockers are nothing less than a beacon of health and hygiene. In reality however, they can be quite to the contrary. The reason being that even if they are sufficiently clean and sanitised in the morning, you have to then consider how many dirty hands, dirty items of clothing and general unpleasantness are being smeared all over them throughout the day.
2. Exercise Mats – To be perfectly honest, the only way of keeping yourself at safe distance from the germs, fluids and general nastiness of a thousand other people is to commit to using your own exercise mats at all times. When you actually think of the way these things work a little like sponges…well, exactly how many people before you have sweated into it?
3. Cardio Machines – The amount of sweat, saliva, music and other disgustingness that accumulates on the average cardio machine in a single day is almost quite unthinkable. Not only this, but even the personal towels of those using the gym which are routinely used to wipe such machines after being used can be even more unhygienic by quite a margin.
4. Bathrooms – Unsurprisingly, the bathrooms at the gym don’t tend to be the cleanest thing in the world either. Along with all manner of dirt and grime been brought in from the outdoors, gym floors have a habit of remaining excessively moist and dank for long periods of time, which again represents entirely the kind of environment germs and bacteria cannot resist.
5. Weights – Last but not least, free weights never fail to get a serious amount of use in most gym environments, but also do not tend to get cleaned and sanitised nearly as often as anything else. Quite a few gyms are starting to introduce packs of disposable antibacterial wipes which are supposed to be made use of, each time free weights are used. How frequently they actually get used on the other hand is anyone’s guess.