Equipment review site Fitrated collected samples from 27 pieces of gym equipment from three different gyms. Over 70% of the bacteria found was harmful and known to cause a combination of skin infections and illnesses.
“Samples from a treadmill, exercise bike, and free weights were taken – and it turns out they are all teeming with germs… All three pieces of equipment tested positive for gram-positive cocci (a common cause of skin infections and other illnesses); gram-negative rods (which can prompt many types of infections and sometimes resist antibiotics), and gram-positive rods (which can – but don’t often – cause various types of infections).
The exercise bikes and free weight samples also turned up Bacillus – a potential cause of conditions such as ear, eye, and respiratory infections.”(1)
Gyms certainly aren’t the picture of cleanliness. They’re often enclosed indoor rooms full of sweaty strangers that use the same equipment. Whether it be dumbbells with grooves that trap dirt, or benches that absorb sweat, gym equipment can range from slippery to sticky. What appears like sweat, grease, and other bodily fluids shimmers across equipment that the previous person did not clean properly.
Not only do people encounter rampant germs while they’re at the gym, but also once they leave. In the gym, everyone inhales and exhales heavily. Some gym members are fighting colds and other illnesses. This means that, at the gym, people inhale concentrated amounts of airborne pathogens. Even if you’ve showered and washed away the sweat and grease from the gym equipment, you’ve stilled inhaled bacteria floating around the gym.
Why expose yourself to sickness in a place with more germs than a toilet seat? The common cold, flu, and even tuberculosis can all spread by someone breathing in the same air as a sick person. If you have a demanding job, children, or other activities that require time and care, getting sick is not an option.
Perhaps going to the gym and not getting sick from a room full of bacteria might feel like an accomplishment. However, not getting sick at all, by avoiding the gym, is a greater accomplishment; the pain of a cold, flu, or tuberculosis has been avoided. If you cannot afford to get sick, going to the gym could be unreasonable.
Some may think that they need the gym because they do not own expensive exercise equipment. Yet, many people exercise from home without expensive equipment and maintain high fitness levels. Effective exercise from home could simply be a matter of adopting a program that shows you how to, every day.
There’s no need to expose yourself to bacteria-filled gyms, even if you don’t own expensive gym equipment; making your own equipment to use at home need not be expensive or difficult. Ocinator shows members how to effectively exercise from home and make their own inexpensive equipment.
(1) FitRated. “Examining Gym Cleanliness.” FitRated RSS, www.fitrated.com/resources/examining-gym-cleanliness/.