Going to the gym keeps you healthy right? Well, not when it comes to germs! Experts say that the gym is a breeding ground for all kinds of nasty bacteria that can easily spread from one person to the next. Here are the facts so you can keep yourself safe. We found these tips on the Canadian news web site Canoe.com.

  • The first danger zone: the weight machines. If the person before you didn’t wash their hands after using the bathroom, they could have transferred germs to the gym equipment, including staph bacteria, group “A” streptococcus, and even E.coli! Dr. Iris Greenwald is a physician at the Center for Womens’ Health in Ontario. And she says that if you have an open cut, the staph or strep bacteria can enter the wound and cause skin infections, inflammation, and bad flu-like symptoms. The fix: wipe down all equipment with anti-bacterial wipes before and after you use the machines.
  • The next germ danger zone at the gym: your water bottle. Every time you take a sip from a water bottle, a bit of backwash drips back in, adding your own mouth bacteria to the water, including viruses and bacteria if you’re sick. If you share your bottle with a friend, they could get sick too. And in a moist environment, the germs immediately start multiplying like crazy. So, if you let the bottle sit and drink from it the next time you work out, you could re-infect yourself and prolong your illness. So, buy a wide-mouth bottle you can wash with hot, soapy water between refills.
  • And the final gym germ zone: the showers. Fungus grows easily in warm, moist conditions. Including the ones that cause athlete’s foot, nail infections, ringworm in kids, and even jock itch. So, wear flip-flops in the shower, and put a towel on any surface you’re going to sit on. That’ll keep a safe barrier between your skin and any germs. Just be sure to put the flip-flops in a separate bag when you’re done, and wash them thoroughly when you get home and let them dry completely before you wear them again.