Need an excuse to stay home instead of hitting the gym today? Here's one: Your gym is disgusting. Equipment reviews site FitRated gathered bacteria samples from 27 different pieces of equipment at three different national gym chains. And what they found was pretty gross: lots of bacteria that can cause skin infections, and some that are even antibiotic-resistant.
Three pieces of equipment that people use regularly were teeming with germs. An exercise bike had 39 times more bacteria than a plastic cafeteria tray, a treadmill had 74 times more bacteria than a water faucet, and free weights were the grossest of all, with 362 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. If you think about it, the free weights situation makes sense—you might be likely to wipe down your treadmill after a good sweaty run, but have you ever seen someone wipe down a pair of dumbbells after their reps?
FitRated recommends you disinfect your equipment before and after using it, and never walk around barefoot in the gym or touch your face. Plus, you should always wash your hands and change out of your gym clothes immediately after working out.
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