Gyms, fitness, and training centers exist to improve the health and wellbeing of people who patronize these facilities. Unfortunately, with alarming regularity, people who workout, exercise, or train in these types of facilities end up becoming ill. These individuals end up contracting some sort of infectious disease. As a result, you need to recognize the health risks that exist in gyms, fitness, and training centers. You also need to understand what can be done to reduce the risk of catching an infectious disease at these types of facilities. Your health and welfare depend on coming to an understanding of these issues.
Most Common Gym Germs
There are a number of gym germs that you need to be most aware of and work to protect yourself against. These include:
- Athlete’s foot
- Common cold
- Flu or influenza
- Plantar warts
- Hot tub rash
Staphylococcus bacteria are considered among the most common types of pathogens or germs that result in infections of people who patronize gyms, fitness, and training centers. Indeed, a staph infection can represent some of the most serious infectious disease risks of being in a health facility.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that about 1/3 of all people, including people that workout in gyms, carry staph on their skin. Staph can pass from one person to another through direct contact. People can also leave staph on gym equipment, making it possible for other people to become come into contact with these germs.
MRSA can be a concern among gym-goers. MRSA is staph bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics. In other words, a MRSA infection can prove very challenging to treat.
Fungi exists in abundance in a gym, fitness, or training center. The most common health issues caused by fungi in a gym are what commonly are called athlete’s foot and jock itch.
A person can become infected by fungi that cause athlete’s foot by walking barefoot in places like a fitness center locker room. With that said, an individual’s own hygiene practices can raise the prospect of a problem like athlete’s foot or jock itch. For example, using the same sweaty shoes and socks when working out can enhance the risk of athlete’s foot.
Ringworm is another type of fungal infection that can arise in a gym, fitness, or training center. This type of fungal infection can occur just about anywhere on a person’s body. Sloppy hygienic practices can enhance the risk of a ringworm infection.
Respiratory infections, including the common cold, spread easily and regularly in gyms. The common cold most often is spread when people sneeze or cough in the close confines of a gym. Viruses that can spread in this manner are capable of surviving for at least some period of time if they land on objects, including gym equipment.
Flu or Influenza
Similarly, the flu or influenza spreads rather easily in a gym setting. These illnesses are also spread when people sneeze or cough. In addition, these viruses can survive for some time on objects in a gym, including equipment. A wise course is to get a flu shot. In addition, a person should immediately wash hands when finished using gym equipment.
Plantar warts are painful growths on a person’s foot. They are caused by a strain of the human papillomavirus, or HPV. This is the same type of virus that causes genital warts and cervical cancer. People most often contract HPV by walking barefoot in a gym, particularly in the locker room.
Impetigo is a situation that results in painful skin sores. These sores can burst, ooze, and crust over. Impetigo is caused by both staph and strep bacteria. In a gym setting, people most often end up with impetigo as a result of sharing towels.
The herpes virus can result in cold sores and genital warts. Contracting the herpes virus in a gym does not happen particularly frequently. More often than not, the herpes virus spreads when people are engaging in an activity in a gym, fitness, or training center through which they have contact with others.
Hot Tub Rash
Hot tub rash is caused by exposure to a bacterium known as pseudomonas aeruginosa. This bacterium flourishes in a hot tub. This bacterium can produce an uncomfortable, itchy rash. While it typically goes away after a few days, it is unpleasant.
Benefits of Professional Gym and Training Center Disinfection
A gym or similar facility should consider seriously engaging the services of a professional gym and training center disinfection company. This type of specialist has the experience, equipment, and resources necessary to safely and thoroughly kill gym germs and ensure that a facility is a safe environment for people who come to improve their health and wellness.