Maybe the question did come to you as you watched a very sweaty man or woman get up from the leg press machine and walk away, without giving it the obligatory wipe-down.
It’s normal to imagine the germs that might be left behind on the machine but there is enough research that has been done to back up your inhibitions.
A recent study found the weights had 362 times more germs than the average toilet seat.
Let’s talk about the dirtiest spots at the gym -
Since so many people handle it, this equipment is pervasive with bugs and viruses that can lead to colds and other infections.
As you stretch or strike a yoga pose, or take a group exercise class, you could be lying in uncontrollable sliding microbes that can cause you skin infections, athlete's foot, colds and flu, and hepatitis A.
Perhaps most of the germs in your gym bag are your own, and therefore harmless to you but disease-causing microbes can latch on every time you place it on a bench or in a locker or on the floor. The most common bacterias to catch are staph, salmonella, E. coli, and Pseudomonas which can cause major eye infections
When you take a sip of water during your workout, germs move into your bottle from the rim and reproduce quickly. Hundreds of thousands of bacteria can settle at the bottom. Studies have shown that using the same bottle after just a few days of not washing it can be the equivalent of drinking from a public swimming pool.
Treadmills, ellipticals and spinning bikes which are sweaty are more likely to get wiped down after use than free weights but that doesn't mean these machines are absolutely clean. There have been studies which suggested that 63 percent of machines that had been disinfected still had traces of rhinovirus, which causes the common cold. Also, staph, fungi, and yeast were found on gym bike seats.
The gym shower stall is filled with fungi and organisms that can cause various infections. For eg athlete's foot, ringworm, and warts.
Research suggests that 62 percent of pool-related diarrhea outbreaks are the result of the chlorine-resistant pathogen cryptosporidium, which is spread by contaminated fecal matter. In addition, bacteria such as Pseudomonas in the pool can also cause ear and eye infections.
Here are some tips for better gym hygiene -
Be cautious of how and where you choose to exercise. Stay fit stay alert!