Is it really necessary to wipe down your gym equipment before and after each use? Most people do, but there are always those who don’t. They work out, walk away, and never return with a towel to clean up their mess, and nothing is more disturbing to everyone who witnesses this sweat crime. At the end of the day, sweat is nowhere near as disgusting as other forms of bodily fluid, but that certainly doesn’t mean you want to lie down in it, touch it, or accidentally wipe it on your own face after touching a machine. The general rule of thumb at home, at the gym, and anywhere you use gym equipment is to wipe it down. It’s sanitary, and it just makes you a better person.
While gym equipment covered in sweat might not be particularly germ-infested, it’s not safe. You probably won’t catch much of anything from someone’s sweat as far as your overall health is concerned, but it’s not safe to leave sweat sitting. It’s warm and moist, and we all know that’s where bacterium loves to make itself right at home. The common cold might not be what you’ll catch from sweat, but you better believe it’s a breeding ground for infection.
Why is Wiping Down Your Gym Equipment Necessary After You’re Finished Working Out?
Perhaps the handlebars on the weight machine aren’t that big of a deal to leave sweaty, even though you shouldn’t. However, softer items such as yoga mats and the padding used on machine benches is bad news when it comes to sweat. To be clear, your sweat is not giving anyone the flu, but bacterial infections are a completely different story. Sweat is moist, and gyms are warm. Together, it’s a perfect storm of bacterial breeding ground-mania, and you could end up causing issues such as MRSA, staph infection or any other bacterial infection to thrive.
Another issue is other bodily fluid. Most people assume sweat is the only bodily fluid on gym equipment, but that’s simply not the case. You could the buttons on a treadmill, hold the handlebars on the elliptical, and breathe on any other number of items. If you have a cold, flu, or any other virus, you’re just spreading it around like it’s your business. If you wipe your nose with your hand, you touch a button and your germs are there. If you sneeze in the middle of jogging on a treadmill, your germs are on everything. If you have pink eye and wipe your eye and touch the machine you’re using, you just spread your germs everywhere.
Why is Wiping Down Your Gym Equipment Necessary Before You Work Out?
As disgusted as you might be to see someone walk away from their gym equipment without cleaning it up and wiping it down, it’s just as disgusting to use the equipment prior to cleaning it up. You just don’t know if the person who used the machine before you cleaned it up, but you don’t want to find out the hard way. It’s always better safe than sorry when it comes to spreading germs.
Chances are slim you’re going to catch much of anything at the gym, but there is no reason to take any chances while you’re there. It’s also a good idea to wash your own hand when you’re done working out before you get into the car and touch anything, and before you get into your house and begin touching your furniture and dishes. Keeping hand sanitizer in your gym bag isn’t the worst idea in the world, either.
Now you know how important it is to wipe down your gym equipment before and after use, it’s time to take one more lesson from your gym wipes. Don’t use the same wipe to clean multiple machines during the day. Use one wipe per machine, otherwise you’re just spreading germs from one machine to another. It takes less than a minute to clean your gym equipment before and after use, but it’s time well spent when you consider the alternative.