Guess what, fellow germ-o-phobes, the gym’s even grosser than scientists thought! Researchers polled over 2,000 exercisers, asking about the worst sights, smells, and sounds they experienced at the gym. They found that 1-in-10 people complained about sweaty equipment, mats, and weight benches. And the fact that most sweat-monsters don’t clean up after themselves. But, according to the survey, sweat’s not the only gross thing at the gym. Here’s what people in the survey witnessed:

  • The towels members used to dry themselves being re-used by staff to clean the bathroom and toilets.

  • And people with cuts, scrapes and sores sitting in communal Jacuzzis.

  • Other gross-outs include gym rats that show up in dirty workout clothes and then sit on machines and locker room benches.

  • And people so thirsty post-workout, that they put their mouth on the drinking fountain.

So, how can you protect yourself from the gross gym rats of the world? Here’s advice from infectious disease expert, Dr. Aaron Glatt:

  • First, use antiseptic wipes on equipment that’s obviously dirty, or looks sweaty or wet.

  • And if someone bleeds on anything, ask the staff to clean it up. They’ve got gloves, and antiseptic for just that purpose.

  • Always maintain good hygiene and good manners. That means, wipe down everything you touch or sweat on, bring your own water and never, ever lick the drinking fountain.