Here’s a scenario for you… You’ve just walked into the gym and up to your favourite bench. You grab a set of dumbbells and proceed with your workout without paying too much attention to the bench beneath you.
48 hours later, you’re doubled over the loo with less than palatable events taking place in your gut and you wonder how, or why, you got sick.
Was it that chicken you ate for dinner? Did you take a reaction to something?
Answer – probably neither. You most likely picked up a ghastly bug from that bench you paid no attention to. Yes. Really.
Now, question – how many times have you cleaned your gym equipment with the disinfectant provided after use?
There’s no shame or judgment here – the likelihood is pretty slim but you really ought to make it part of your routine.
In fact, ask most fitness professionals and they’ll tell you it’s their Golden Rule and here’s why…
Hot. Sweaty. Moist.
Sweat in itself isn’t actually germy. Yes, it’s unbelievably gross to lie down in a pool of someone else’s perspiration but the act itself isn’t exactly bad for you.
BUT, gyms are notoriously hot, sweaty and moist environments making them the dream environment for bacteria to go forth and multiply.
This certainly has the potential for transmission of infections and bugs.
In fact, one of the biggest gym acquired infection is MRSA – a nasty infection caused by a strain of staph bacteria that’s resistant to antibiotics.
Another nasty illness easily picked up from that sweaty bench is Norovirus. Now, if you have ever had Norovirus, you will know just how horrendous it is.
Talk about both ends at once…
The thing about Norovirus, though, is it’s super sneaky because the victim remains infectious for 48 hours before AND after symptoms have passed, so you could have it and not even know.
Other germs that can linger in machine padding and equipment including E. Coli, fungus, warts, including those cased by HPV, and general cold and flu viruses – brilliant!
However, while this is all very scary, your risk of infection is still relatively low.
Bottom line: even though it’s low, do the polite thing and clean up after yourself with the disinfectant provided. It’s just good manners and will help limit infection risk…
And if you’re not convinced that the person before you actually took the time to clean up after themselves, then spend a whole 30 seconds doing the deed before you workout.
Who really wants to workout in a puddle of someone else’s sweat anyway? Bleugh…