It's kind of ironic that the gym is one of the germiest places a person can encounter in their day-to-day routine — fitness centers are where we go to get healthy! But numerous studies confirm that gyms are crawling with cold and flu viruses, the staph bacteria MRSA, and other bacteria and virus strains that can lead to skin or respiratory infections. Before you freak out and cancel your gym membership, we've rounded up which areas of the gym have the highest concentration of germs and how to protect yourself from them.
We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from Self here on FitSugar!
Let's face it; it's tough to avoid germs when you're breaking a sweat. And it's even harder to keep bacteria at bay if you're sharing space with hundreds of other fitness fans at the gym or in the studio. What's an exerciser to do to stay healthy and safe? Clean up your act with the help of these antimicrobial tools that will make your workouts anything but a dirty job.
- Carry your own gym towel. Your hands aren't the only ones reaching for a towel from the stack at the front desk. Toss your own in your bag instead. A good choice, Silver Sport's antimicrobial eco-friendly bamboo towel ($34.99). It's amazingly soft and it uses Terra Silver antimicrobial technology that mitigates 99.9% of surface bacteria. That means if your towel touches down on a dirty surface and then touches your hands/face you're still safe from the germs. Mine also went unwashed for days (oops left it in my gym bag) and remained surprisingly odor-free.
- Bring your own equipment. Gym mats and props are dirty, so skip the shared equipment and bring your own. Go with Silver Sport's Silver Mat ($49.99). The nanosilver incorporated in the plush light-weight mat makes it the perfect companion for hot yoga or ab moves at the end of class. I love the Silver Shaper Pilates Roller Cover ($39.99) too. It's latex-free, protects from germs, and covers any standard foam roller. Great for massaging post-workout also. And thanks to their natural antimicrobial technology, a quick wipe down with a damp cloth keeps bacteria and odor in check on both. You can skip the harsh chemicals and sprays!