This blog post is very timely, and informative. A big thanks to Jane Sandwood for putting it together, enjoy…

An average treadmill harbors 74 times more bacteria than a water faucet while free weights are believed to be 362 times dirtier than a public toilet according to US-based fitness review entity FitRated. When you go to the gym, you will undoubtedly break quite a sweat, and so will everyone else. All these bodily fluids that get left behind on exercise bikes, treadmills and fitness benches create the ideal breeding ground for countless illness-causing germs and bacteria. While this may seem like reason enough to never enter a gym again, there is no need for such drastic measures just yet. By cleaning the equipment you use, you contribute greatly towards improving the overall hygiene of your place of exercise.

Wipe that exercise mat
The piece of gym equipment that attracts the most germs is without a doubt the exercise mat, followed closely by the weightlifting bench. Due to their porous nature, potentially hazardous microbes can actually get inside the microscopic holes where biofilms start to develop. In order to keep benches and mats germ-free, they need to be wiped down with an antibacterial agent after use. It is also recommended to deep-clean all equipment at least once a week to ensure that all microbes are eradicated. If possible, bring your own mat to the gym in order to protect you against a multitude of microbes such as those responsible for staph, strep, and even hepatitis A.

Clean equipment is odor-free
Apart from concealing nearly incalculable amounts of germs, dirty gym equipment also tend to give off a rather unpleasant aroma which can put a severe damper on your gym experience. Body odor is one of the nastiest smells known to man and will undoubtedly influence the intensity of your workout. Wearing a quality antiperspirant and wiping down your equipment after use will not only allow the next person to exercise in a clean, pleasant-smelling environment but will also drastically reduce the amount of germs in the gym environment.

Avoid bringing germs home with you
The germs you are exposed to while working out can easily attach themselves to your shoes, hands, towel and gym bag, gaining easy access to your home and your family. They can also enter your body in a number of ways, including through the eyes, nose, and mouth. By wiping down your gym equipment prior to a workout you can reduce the number of germs your body, and specifically your hands, come into contact with, reducing your risk of contracting colds, flu, athletes foot, and gastrointestinal disorders.
The fact that a gym, and gym equipment, in particular, can house uncountable germs cannot be disputed. Thankfully the spread of illness and disease can be reduced drastically simply by cleaning the equipment before and after use, ensuring that both you and other gym goers can maximize your workout efforts without falling ill because of it.

Written by: Tommy Europe