We go to the gym to get healthy and get in shape, but some gym surfaces can increase your risk of getting sick. Gym equipment can harbor bacteria from the flu, to Norovirus and even MRSA. However, you don’t need to let gym germs keep you from staying healthy. Most gyms provide some kind of sanitizer spray and paper towels that allow you to wipe down equipment and take precaution against bacteria and germs. Germs thrive on the most commonly touched surfaces in the gym. According to Yahoo, here are some of the most contaminated spots you’ll want to sanitize:
- Dumbbells and free weights: Weights are among the most commonly handled items in a gym. Experts recommend you sanitize the weights before you pick them up.
- Cardio equipment: Any kind of buttons tend to carry bacteria and most people don’t think to sanitize the touch screens and buttons on treadmills, bikes and elliptical machines, especially if there are no obvious dirt particles or smudges.
- Shower/locker room floors: Experts say Athlete’s Foot is a top infection spread at the gym. They say you should never go barefoot and should wear a pair flip flops in the shower.
- Gym mats: Just like with dumbells and free weights, your best bet is to sanitize mats before use. If you can bring your own, that’s even better. However, you should regularly clean and sanitize personal mats as well.
- Shared towels: Experts say sharing towels at the gym is one of the most likely means of transmitting diseases. The best bet is to bring your own towel and wash it after each use. If you use towels at the gym, make sure it doesn’t get mixed up with someone else’s.
Yahoo! Shine: The 7 Germiest Spots at the Gym