With 2016 well on its way, hopefully everyone is sticking to their resolutions to work out more and live a healthier lifestyle in the New Year. We’re huge fitness junkies at SQUIX, and love to join in all the latest workouts -- bootcamps, Spin, Yoga, Pilates, Barre class, HIIT, or Fusion, you name it and someone on our team has tried it!
What you may not be thinking about while you’re at the gym is all the germs you encounter while working out. It’s ironic that on your road to a healthier lifestyle, you are coming into contact with so many nasty germs! But, when you think about it, the gym is a place where you share so many different things with strangers. Studies show many gyms are infested with cold and flu viruses, MRSA, staph bacteria and a slew of other bacteria and virus strains. We promise we’re not trying to derail your 2016 gym and fitness goals. Instead, we want to arm you with the tools to stay healthy while you’re getting fit!
Here are some of the most germ-covered places in the gym and ways you can limit your exposure:
1. Cardio Equipment. Studies estimate that over 50% of cardio equipment (like elliptical machines, treadmills and stationary bikes) carry bacteria and viruses. According to a study conducted by NYU Hospital, these machines can host a number of bacteria and viruses capable of making you sick. The Solution: Make sure to thoroughly wipe down your equipment before use. And, if you are sitting or laying down on a machine or bench, put a towel down to avoid skin to machine contact. While many gyms may have their own antibacterial wipes, you can always throw the Germ Blitz Disinfectant Wipes into your bag to kill germs effectively before using any equipment.
2. Dumbbells. While it is always good to pump some iron, dumbbells (or free weights) are one of the last things that people think to disinfect. As a result, a majority of free weights carry germs and bacteria. The Solution: Similar to any cardio machine you may be using, make sure to wipe your weights before use! It’s just one extra step, but it’s worth it. You may even burn an extra calorie or two. Jo-Sha Yoga Wipes are a great option and come in a variety of scents from lavender and eucalyptus to peppermint and tangerine.
3. Yoga & Pilates Mats. It’s common in classes for the same mats are used over and over again in a day without ever being washed. What’s worse, many positions require you to lay your full body down on the mat and often even put your face against the mat! The Solution: To avoid germs that may have soaked into the mat, the easiest thing to do is to buy your own mat and bring it with you to the gym. We recommend the EquiFit Antibacterial Cleanmat. If it is unrealistic for you to buy your own or to carry it around with you, make sure to thoroughly wipe down the public yoga mats before use.
4. Water Fountains. For many of us, this is probably an obvious one and dates back to our elementary school days. Unfortunately, many times when people drink from water fountains, their mouths come in to contact with the fountain and transfer germs, making it a hub for germs and bacteria (or as you said in 2nd grade, cooties!). The Solution: This one is simple. BYO-water bottle. And make sure you fill it before getting to the gym. If you’re looking for a great sports bottle option with antimicrobial technology, check out the ProPur AV Ultra Lite Filtration Sport Bottle.
5. Locker Room Showers: You may think that because the shower is a place where you go to clean yourself, that it is a “clean” place. However, communal showers are filled with germs as people are washing off body fluids and residue that may stay in the bottom of the shower. The Solution: Bring a pair of flip flops so that you can avoid direct contact between your feet and the shower floor.
Now that you are armed with these tools, have a great workout!
- The SQUIX Team