All you need to know about workout hygiene

Alt: a woman touching a cardio machine.

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Alt-tag: Woman running on a treadmill

Have you got into the habit of going to the gym? Great! Gym workouts are a great way to stay fit and healthy. However, it would be best to give as much attention to hygiene as you give to your workout. Otherwise, you are at risk of catching some rather nasty infections along the way. So, to help you stay safe, we will tell you all you need to know about workout hygiene.

Why worry about workout hygiene?

So, why should you worry about workout hygiene? It’s elementary: if a gym doesn’t take its sanitation seriously, you can be exposed to various bacteria and viruses. These can lead to several illnesses, skin infections, or even fungal infections in extreme cases. All of these are capable of knocking you out of form for several weeks. These sorts of issues could exist in the gym that you frequent. As such, it’s imperative to know how to protect yourself. This protection can be as easy as using hand sanitizers around the gym, but they’re all critical to keeping your health safe.

Workout hygiene is critical if you want to avoid germs.

a woman touching a cardio machine.

Alt-tag: grayscale photo of adjustable dumbbell

Keep your workout gear clean

One of the things you should know about workout hygiene is that keeping your workout clothes clean is incredibly important. The clothes you wear during workouts will be all sweaty. If you leave these clothes unwashed for days, they will become a breeding ground for bacteria or even some forms of fungus. Leaving dirty workout clothes in your gym bag is even worse because then the fungus and bacteria get transferred onto the bag and onto the clean clothes you put in it from thereon. So, make sure to wash your clothes thoroughly after every workout. Do the same with the shoes you wear to the gym, and make sure they dry off well.

Clean your hands thoroughly

It should go without saying that keeping your hands clean is vital during and after a workout. Hundreds of other people will touch the same things you use to work out. Whether it is weights or machines, it is guaranteed that many people touched and used them before you. Because of this, you should always wash your hands after using gym equipment. Wash your hands correctly, or at the very least, bring hand sanitizer. Or, to be safe, do both.

Keeping your hands clean is the first and most important layer of defense against germs.

Sanitize hands with alcohol hand rub

Alt-tag: Person sanitizing hands

Clean gym equipment before using it

Another thing to know about workout hygiene: most gyms have convenient ways to clean equipment before use. They provide members with towels, spray bottles, and simple disinfectant wipes. So, use these to wipe down the equipment thoroughly before using it. Of course, this isn’t perfect. That’s why it’s important to also wash your hands thoroughly after every workout. But at least it reduces the risk of coming in contact with viruses and bacteria. Note that you should clean the equipment before and after use. Before – to be safe, and after – to be considerate of others.

Bring your own cleaning supplies

If your gym always seems to be short on supplies for cleaning equipment, or if they don’t offer any at all, then bring your own. Bring some extra towels and spray bottles, soap and hand sanitizer, and some alcohol for disinfection. Professional trainers from recommend doing this even if your gym is well stocked with cleaning supplies. Why? Well, because you don’t know if the gym keeps the holders for these supplies clean. If they don’t, using these supplies can have the opposite effect.

Bringing your own supplies is the safest way to stay clean at the gym.

Portal floor stand dispenser

Portal floor stand dispenser, automatic sanitiser dispenser

Alt-tag: Person using hand sanitizer

Shower after every workout

Another pretty obvious tip: always have a shower after every workout. In case that all of the steps you take to protect yourself from bacteria fail, a shower should finish them. And, of course, washing the sweat off of yourself feels nice too. If you’re comfortable with taking a shower at your gym, then you should do it. This way, you won’t risk bringing anything into your home. Or, if you’re still worried, shower both at home and at the gym. And don’t forget to immediately take the clothes you worked out in and throw them in the hamper.

Bring your mat for floor exercises

If you do any exercise during which you need to be on a mat, it’s best to bring your own. This is because you can always know that the mat you use is clean. When using a mat in the gym, you cannot tell if it was cleaned properly. Or even if it was cleaned at all. So, invest in your own personal mat, which you can keep safe from germs, to use in the gym. At the same time, you should learn the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.

Skip the gym when feeling sick

Why is this important to know when it comes to workout hygiene? Well, it’s simple: besides not being able to work out properly, your body is even weaker against viruses and bacteria when you’re sick. So, if you don’t feel too well, it is the best choice to skip the gym until you feel better. True, you might fall out of shape for a while, but maintaining your form isn’t worth the risk of catching another disease.


Workout hygiene is crucial for anyone who goes to a gym. The diseases you can get if you’re not careful can undo all of your hard work.