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Battling Bacteria For A Better Body And Gym

Battling Bacteria For A Better Body And Gym

According to a study by Filtrated, a fitness equipment review site, gym weights carry 362 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. Considering the number of people who pass through the gym each day, sharing the equipment and working up a sweat, it should come as little surprise to discover that gym equipment is a breeding ground for bacteria and germs.

There are a variety of benefits to keeping gym equipment clean in addition to the obvious sanitary issues and peace of mind. Keeping the equipment clean can do wonders for your health, as well as for the health of your equipment. Knowing how to keep everything clean need not be a difficult task, from easy, natural cleaning products to doing your part as a gym-goer and minimizing your interaction with the bacteria laden equipment for both yourself and the next user.

The damage of unclean gym equipment

The germs picked up from gym equipment can affect your health and body, with issues ranging from foot fungus to genital warts. Dirty, well used gym equipment can also affect the accuracy of the in-built heart rate monitors. Often, machines such as treadmills or elliptical cross training machines, will have a hand grip monitor built into a handle or rail that you hold while using the machine. This tracks your heart rate while using the machine and can accurately gage the intensity of your workout. However, factors such as grime and oil that have rubbed off onto the hand grip monitor from numerous other hands can interfere with the accuracy of the reading.

What can you do

Whether you are using the machines for cardio or lifting weights, doing your bit to be courteous to the next user and maintain a hygienic, sanitary gym environment is easy. Like any other situation in which hygiene is paramount, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands before and after a workout as hand-washing continues to be the number one way to prevent the spread of infection.

Another useful tip, for the sake of your own hygiene and consideration for the next person to use a machine is to take a couple of different colored towels around with you. One of the towels should be used on yourself, to wipe away your own sweat and the other should be used to wipe down the machine or weights before and after use, which should include the area that you lay or sat down on as well as the parts that were handled. By differentiating the color of towels, it should ensure that the two don’t get mixed up, reducing the chance of accidentally wiping down a machine with the same towel that has just absorbed all the perspiration built up while using it.

Natural products to clean gym equipment

There are a variety of DIY cleaning solutions that are effective for keeping gym equipment clean, such as a combination of dish soap, tap water and vinegar. This sanitizing solution is ideal for use on resistance balls and dumbbells as it does not wear away at their neoprene surface coatings. Another welcome addition to homemade cleaning products is 10 drops of essential oil. Tea tree oil, for example, is highly anti-fungal. Alternatively, rosemary oil is a natural antiseptic.

Unclean gym equipment can cause issues, from the spread of infection to the ineffectiveness of the machinery and monitors, making the gym a less enticing, aspirational place for gym-goers to want to be. There needs to be a combination of maintenance from staff working at the gym, making sure that the equipment is properly cleaned on a regular basis as well as patrons of the gym doing their bit to help maintain cleanliness throughout the day and showing a little consideration for the next user.

Author: Jess Walter

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