When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, gyms were among the first businesses to close, forcing millions of people to try to get their fitness on at home. While some states have loosened restrictions on gyms, many people are sticking with their new habit of working out at home. For those folks, and everyone else who uses their gym equipment for something other than a place to hang clothes, here are some ideas for keeping things clean and healthy.
Between breathing heavily onto cardio machines, grabbing dumbbells and sweating on yoga mats, you can be spreading germs all over. This includes not just the COVID-19 virus but also influenza, the common cold rhinovirus and bacteria.
Start by cleaning everything exercise-related with a disinfectant wipe or disinfectant spray and paper towel after every use. That includes mats, weights, machines, clothes and water bottles. Every one to two weeks, go for a deeper clean with soap and water then a disinfectant.
Spray yoga mats with a sanitizing spray, and let them fully air-dry before rolling them back up. If you use hand weights, make sure you spray disinfectant into the textured grips.
Wiping the screens and handles of cardio machines with a disinfectant after every use will get the vast majority of the germs, but hit the entire machine — pedals or treads, included — during periodic deep cleans.
You should wash your workout clothes after every use, no matter how “not sweaty” you think you got. The fibers of sweaty clothing make for a prime bacteria breeding ground. And don’t forget to clean your water bottle after each use.
Good for you for working hard at getting fit and healthy. Taking care of your gear will help keep you that way.