How Clean is Your Gym?

We have all seen that person at the gym who is sweating all over the place.  Of course they use the machine that you want to use next, and in an act of selfishness they don’t even wipe it down after their use!  We all know the importance and the cleanliness of cleaning this piece of equipment before we use it.  But what about those pieces of equipment that are not being used right before we jump on?

Just how clean are the machines at your gym?  Even though many gyms have very disciplined janitorial staff, you may not want to rely solely on them to make sure that you are being protected from germs and other contaminants.  It is crucial for the sake of your health and others that you properly and adequately clean the piece of equipment you work out on both before and after your use.

A gym is a warm and moist environment - this is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and germs.  But there are even more harmful things that could be lurking at your gym, and no we’re not referring to the sweaty inconsiderate meathead. Methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (commonly known as MRSA) is an infection “caused by a strain of staph bacteria that’s become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat ordinary staph infections,” states Dr. Pritish Tosh, infectious diseases physician at the Mayo Clinic.

MRSA has been found in common exercise environments, including gyms, yoga mats and wrestling floors.  This is why it is critical that you clean all exercise equipment and areas prior and after your workout.  Yoga mats and strength training machines are typically made up of porous material, a place where bacteria and disease can hide.  While sweat itself may not transfer germs to a high extent, you must wipe down your equipment to help prevent MRSA and other maladies.

MRSA may be the big one, but there are other things that can linger around workout areas.  Cold and flu symptoms, e.coli, urinary tract infections and fungi can be spread throughout your favorite gym.  This is why you should be a considerate gym patron and protect yourself and others from germs and disease.  Make sure you always wipe down whatever equipment you use.

 

Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.

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Image Credit: Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Glenn Beltz