Is Your Gym Making You Sick?

Healthy Living

by Lexi Patronis, Glamour

Want to know the places inside a gym that are most likely to get you sick? Sure you do!

Barbells, dumbbells, and weight plates. A basic sneeze can send 100,000 infectious particles into the air at 200 miles an hour--when someone catches those buggers with their hand instead of a tissue (or even an elbow), they can transfer easily to handheld gym equipment. Before you lift weights, spray down the equipment (gym etiquette says to do this after you're finished with your set, but how many people really follow that?).

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Water fountains. A study from the University of Arizona found that 28 percent of gym surfaces are gym havens, and water fountains scored high on the list. One way to head off those bacteria? Bring your own water bottle!

Locker room floors. The moist floors are ripe for fungal and wart viruses (ew). Bring your flip-flops for showering, and never reuse the sweaty socks you've just worked out in.

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Your own gym bag. This so makes sense: how often do you rush home and throw everything from your workout (including the bag) into the washing machine? I totally don't--my old socks sometimes live in my bag for weeks. Germs and bacteria gravitate toward sweaty workout clothes, so keep the dirty duds from touching the clean ones--a plastic bag can do the trick.

Do you worry about germs at the gym? What preventative measures do you take to head off bacteria?

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