Since the outbreak of Enterovirus D68 and Ebola, I decided to write about the fitness centers and keeping the facility clean and free of contagious diseases.
Where does one draw the line between fashion and safety from contagious diseases? At the gym, members dress in sleeveless tops. Women wear midriff tops and shorts. There is a fashion to fitness. Exercise done correctly requires sweating and perspiring. Even in a healthy individual, bacteria and body fluids can be dangerous.
Here is an example of areas or equipment that gyms do not clean and rarely if ever disinfect or sanitize.
Aerobic equipment: Treadmills, stationary exercise bikes, steppers, and elliptical machines.
Members’ sweat on the hand grips and controls. Sweat also drips down onto the sides and in front of the machines. I rarely see a member wiping off the equipment. If so it’s done superficially with no real disinfectant effect.
I’ve inspected underneath these machines. Usually, there is an inch of dust and dirt underneath. Machines need to be turned over and vacuumed and the rubber mat disinfected.
Exercise floor: The cleaning and dusting of the general gym floors is always maintained in the middle.
How about the stretching and exercise space? The floor looked fine until I looked for the corners. There was dust and hair in every corner. The exercise mats are seldom cleaned or dusted.
The stability balls are covered with dust, dirt, and grime. (I need two towels to clean one ball.)
Weight room: Benches and machines are never cleaned. People rest their sweaty bodies and dirty hands on these machines and weights. The machines need to be wiped down every hour, with a disinfectant and deodorizer.
Mirrors: Mirrors attract all kinds of germs and bacteria.
With my own my private studio, I wipe down all the benches, massage tables, floors mats after every client. The studio floor is mopped and vacuumed daily. (I rarely see this in any public health club I attend.)
My advice: Join a small, clean private facility. You are there to exercise safely.
Michael Metchikian CPT, SEC, SES, NASM
Michael has been in fitness training for 25 years. He has a private studio located in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. He trains people in North Jersey, Edgewater, Fort Lee, Alpine, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, and surrounding areas.
*At Fiveway Fitness, we clean our personal fitness studio after every session to provide the cleanest environment for each of our clients.*