Gyms across the country are beginning to re-open and if you’re concerned about germs, keep reading. There’s no doubt that hitting the gym or getting a great workout can be excellent for your mental and physical health, but keep in mind we are still facing one of the largest pandemics this country has ever seen.
Exercise machines can be useful tools to promote wellness, or can be an epicenter to pickup unwanted bacteria and germs. Some of the germiest places on earth live in gyms and it’s important to know which areas to avoid and which ones help you keep yourself safe and free from infections.
Bacteria analysis of cardio equipment shows that they carry 74% more bacteria than a common bathroom sink. Although you may want to get some heart-healthy exercise, working out on cardio gym equipment may not be the best way to go.
If you want to get back to your local gym, avoiding treadmills may be your best bet to stay safe. Unfortunately, elliptical machines and other weight equipment carry almost as many strains of bacteria.
According to a study conducted in 2017 by Fit Rated, germs reached as high as 1,333,432 colony germ units per square inch. Primarily those germs lead to skin infections, pneumonia, and sepsis. These types of infections have a lower transmission rate than the current coronavirus infection-rate.
Elliptical equipment isn’t far behind with loads of bacteria responsible for staph infections. If you’ve ever had one – you’ll want to avoid these. They are filled will staphylococcus bacteria which represents over 50% of all bacteria found on the machines.
Weight balls and weight equipment still carry their own set of risks. With these options, you can more easily minimize your risks by disinfecting surfaces before you use them, but using them on contact can carry consequences. Weights harbor infectious bacteria just like anything else.
The most-likely bacteria can cause pneumonia, skin infections, and blood infections. Weight plates and cable-driven weight equipment can harbor even more bacteria.
Above all, take your own water and backup hydration if you plan to head to the gym. Gym water fountains are loaded with germs. According to a study published in the BMC Infectious Diseases, gym water fountains are touched by 50 or more people who aren’t even washing their hands.
That’s pretty understandable as they are jumping off a hard workout and heading straight to the closest. Take your own water and bring your own hydration to stay away from public gym fountains.