In my role as an instructor at a local gym I often be found disinfecting mats, seats and benches. I often see people dripping with sweat come straight off a treadmill and straight onto a resistance machine or bench and do their sets before getting up and onto the next thing.
Whilst I applaud their efforts in getting fit, their efforts towards gym hygiene leaves a lot to be desired. I was sent this infographic from some friends over at www.partselect.com. It’s not somewhere I have looked previously for knowledge on the fitness industry but they have created this little beauty highlighting the importance of gym hygiene.
I am willing to bet that there will be at least one item on here that will make you cringe!
Why then is hygiene so important in the gym environment?
Remember that exercise doesn’t make us stronger? You should remember from other articles that exercise is actually a stress that we apply to our body to weaken it. Our body then undergoes a process called super compensation with the aim of not only getting us back to where we were but to make us stronger than before so we can cope with that stress better.
However, an immediate effect to exercise is that, as quickly as the first hour after exercise, we become immunocompromised. Big word eh! This word is why gym hygiene is key. Immunocompromised means that our immune system is in a weakened state to that which it normally is. If you think about it, this is why most gyms will ask people who have been recently ill not to come in for a week or two after. As you are about to see in the infographic below this usually isn’t adhered to.
Another key element of gym hygiene aside from being immunocompromised is the bacteria we carry on our bodies, called streptococcus and staphylococcus, are often transferred to that which we touch. If you’ve spent much time in a gym you will probably have experienced the horrendously painful spots you get when your pores are open and the crud off the gym equipment gets into it. Your left with a spot usually on the leg or back of your shoulder, where your stringer hasn’t covered you and you’ve gone skin to mat, that looks akin to a teenagers angry boil!
How can we fix this?
Next time you go to the gym think about the kit your about to use. Who used it before you? don’t know? Use one of the anti-bacterial wipe pods and clean it down. When your finished with the kit, give it a wipe. Problem solved.
Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed the article! Please enjoy the infographic below! And feel free to comment!