Practice Better Gym Hygiene
Date: 11-03-2016

With gyms being quite the rage now, it is important to maintain exceptional hygiene standards. Tatjana Ahmed, Housekeeping Manager, Grand Hyatt Dubai elaborates…

One of the most frequently used facilities in a hotel is the gym – it is also one of the biggest storehouses of germs – given the various activities that take place in the gym. While it is part of protocol for the housekeeping staff to constantly maintain the gym to the best of its standards, it would help if gym-goers would also practice better gym hygiene.

Here are a few tips to start. If you don’t already wipe down gym equipment before you use it, you might want to start. As it turns out, gym goers can have some pretty repulsive habits. To find out what goes on at health clubs, a survey of 2,000 people was conducted. The gym habits they discovered: 74 per cent of people had noticed that their fellow gym-goers failed to wipe down sweaty equipment; 49 per cent admitted to having used water bottles, towels, and toiletries that weren’t actually theirs; 18 per cent had gone to the gym despite being sick and coughing and sneezing; and 16 per cent said they didn’t wash their gym clothes between workouts. Gross, but not really a health risk.

There’s no scientific evidence that finds that gyms will make you sick. Having good gym hygiene can somewhat limit your exposure to germs that cause cold, flu, norovirus, athlete’s foot, and staph infection— and makes you a better neighbor to your fellow fitness friends. What is the key to a cleaner workout session? The real trick is you have to keep your hands and your face protected. Here are tips on how to avoid grimy gym germs.

Buy a better bottle

Plastic water bottles tend to hold bacteria. The only ones you can be sure of are metal. To clean it properly, just wash it in hot, soapy water.

Wipe and wash

Whether you decide to constantly wipe down the equipment, or cleanse your own hands, or a combination of the two, keeping your hands clean can help make sure gym germs don’t do any damage. After using each machine or set of weights, use the hand sanitiser and wipes that should be provided by your gym to keep germs at bay.

Clean your gym gear

Dirty, dark, moist gym bags are great for fungi growth. There are several ways to avoid contaminating your gym bag: Put your dirt clothes in a plastic bag, take them out, and empty the plastic bag right into the washer. And don’t forget about your trainers. Slip them into a plastic bag before throwing them into your gym bag. Then, once you get home, wipe them off with a disinfecting wipe (including the bottoms), let them air dry, and toss them back in the next day.

Take a day off

Don’t go to the gym if you have a really bad cold and you’re sneezing or your nose is running. If you have an open wound, you might want to stay away from the gym that day to avoid infection, or infecting anything you might touch while you’re working out.

Hold off on the hot tubs

If you have an open wound, skin, or other infections, absolutely do not use Jacuzzis or common pools. If you do, you’ll not only transmit bacteria, but you’ll be more susceptible to bacteria that are already lurking in the water.

About the author: Tatjana Ahmed is the Housekeeping Manager at Grand Hyatt Dubai and Functional Specialist – Housekeeping for Hyatt International. She has been in the hospitality industry for the past 32 years and is an active member and Chairlady of the UAE Professional Housekeeper’s Group.