We all know that working out and staying fit is one of the most effective ways a person can stay healthy. So most people, like me, head for the closest gym every now and then to burn some calories. But as with pretty much everything, fitness centres have their pros and cons. Despite their immense benefits, they happen to also host a lot of dangerous germs that can leave us at serious health risks, ranging from common cold to diarrhea amongst others.
In this article, we’ll be examining and identifying the dirtiest and germ-infested items at a typical gym. This is not to discourage you, rather it’s to make you conscious and avoid surfaces that can expose you to germs
So guys… Here are surfaces you should try as much as you can to avoid in any gym centre:

Swimming pool

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Not all gyms have a swimming pool but if you are registered at a gym that has a pool, then you need to be careful.  Although most pools are treated with chlorine to reduce bacteria, the water often contains Cryptosporidium, a microscopic parasite commonly known as “Crypto” that causes diarrhea. It also happens to be chlorine-resistant. Also, the smellier the pool, the dirtier. When microorganisms collide with chlorine, it increases the chemical smell.
The best way to protect yourself from diarrhea-causing pools like this is to wear a swim cap; nose and ear plugs; and goggles while swimming. Make sure to rinse off afterwards.

Showers and locker rooms

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Hot and moist locker rooms and showers at the gym are germ zones. They provide the perfect environment for bugs to survive.  Depending on your gym’s hygiene, benches, lockers and items such as shampoo and soap dispensers can carry aggressive bacteria that easily spread through contact with others.
It’s best not to sit on benches naked or walk around barefoot as other outdoor infections can hook on to  your shoes, causing warts, ringworm, athlete’s foot and even the flu.

Sports/activity equipment

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Sports and activity equipment rented out by the gym, such as racquetball rackets, basket balls and yoga balls, are particularly prone to germs. Even when researchers sterilized the ball before the game, it still carried Staph from the floor to the players.
To avoid being infected with Staph, refrain from touching your face during fitness activities and always wash your hands with soap and hot water after your workout.

Free Weights

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They are one of the most used objects at the gym. But even though they are used frequently, they’re almost never cleaned, especially after each use. Free weights typically have a hard surface that’s ideal for hosting germs.
The best way to protect yourself when using free weights is to disinfect before use and avoid touching your face until you’ve washed your hands
Exercise/stretching mats

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This is one of those places where people tend to question whether or not they should clean, simply because it’s a large area. Since these mats are so frequently used by many people, they too are known for Staph infection.
If possible, always bring your own mat for stretching, or place a towel between you and the mat to avoid direct contact.

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