Culture

You Won’t Believe The Germs Lurking At The Gym

But you can avoid soaking in them by following a few basic steps to stay so fresh, so clean around workouts.

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Here’s a frightening fact: the dumbbells at your gym have more germs than a toilet seat!

The gym can have signs and offer sanitary wipes all they want—but with recent findings, it seems people are not wiping down equipment, leaving you at high risk to get sick.

FitRated.com analyzed bacteria samples taken from 27 different pieces of equipment at some of the largest gym chains. The findings are shockingly disgusting!

  • The treadmill averages 74 times more bacteria than a typical public bathroom faucet.
  • Free weights contain up to 362 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.
  • A stationary exercise bike has 39 times more bacteria than a plastic reusable cafeteria tray.
  • More than 52 percent of bacteria on a treadmill can cause skin infections, pneumonia or septicemia.
  • More 70 percent of bacteria found on all of the gym equipment analyzed are potentially harmful to humans.

The types of bacteria are even more disturbing:

  • Gram-positive cocci: This causes skin infections, pneumonia or septicemia, and it’s found mainly on treadmills and stationary bikes.
  • Gram-negative rods: The majority of this bacteria are harmful to humans and resistant to antibiotics. They are mostly found on dumbbells and then treadmills.
  • Gram-positive rods: While they aren’t too harmful to the human health, they can cause some illness. They can mainly be found on the treadmill and stationary bike.
  • Bacillus: These are widely distributed in nature and primarily in soil, from which they invade dust particles. They can mainly found on dumbbells and stationary bikes.

Before you cancel your membership, there are ways to avoid getting tainted:

  • Always wash your hands after a workout with warm water and soup. Make sure to wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
  • If you can’t wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent of alcohol.
  • Get plenty of vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and zinc to boost your immune system.
  • Wipe down equipment before and after you use it.
  • When you sneeze or cough, use a tissue or your elbow instead of your hand. This will help prevent spreading when you touch equipment.
  • If you feel sick, do not go to the gym! This will help keep your germs and bacteria from spreading.