The Truth about Germs at the Gym

gym-354e2bc5d2ab574bbbf715bdf6b60067It’s a fact that when enough people, sweating badly enough and getting busy enough are going to leave all kinds of things behind. Most of those things will generate bacteria or some kind of germs. While you work out there could be a dozen diseases subtly making their way into your body. Here’s the truth about how you could get sick while trying to get healthy.

Cold and Flu

Cold and flu germs are left behind whenever a lot of hands are placed. Particularly hands covered in things like sweat. Door handles are awful for this but in a gym there are a lot of other things as well. Dumbbells, weight handles and weight benches all have dozens of people a day interacting with them, and sweating all over them. Unfortunately people wiping them down only happens so often. Wipe down any equipment you use with disinfectant before and after you use it and wash your hands between them interacting with the equipment and your face.


The showers are the hotbed for illnesses. A hot damp place filled with people just after they’ve really worked up a germ filled sweat all packed tight together. You can’t avoid using it and no matter how good companies like AMC Commercial Cleaning are they can’t be there scrubbing the showers after every person’s use. The best way to handle this is to wear flip flops in the shower and NEVER be barefoot on a changing room floor. In addition you should probably consider disinfecting your hands between the shower and the exit of the bathroom.

Staph Infections

These don’t happen as often as all the other diseases but they are by far the most serious things you can encounter at the gym. They might be life threatening. You can get them off most of the surfaces someone else may have touched, which makes the idea pretty scary. Since not everyone is as careful to disinfect and fix things as you are you have to know how infections spread. Staph transfers through open wounds, blisters cuts and callouses. Gloves might not be the best way to go since it puts you in a hot moist area full of bacteria. Your best bet would be something as simple as a Band-Aid over any wounds you have to protect yourself.

Gym Bags

Gym bags are the haven for rot, mould and germs. Every piece of clothing you’ve sweated and strained in leaves stains behind. Wash the clothes in hot water and disinfect the inside of the bags every so often to do as much good as you can. It might not be perfect but it’s the best thing you can do to make do.

A gym is a haven for fitness, but not necessarily for health. That being said if you take steps to disinfect the equipment you use and take simple precautions against other diseases you should be basically safe from any gym related problems.

Ricky Bennett is a father of 2 teenaged boys, a health expert and a writer. He considers himself an educator of healthy living.