With gyms closed and fitness classes off limits, people are working out at home – online yoga and interval sessions are keeping the country active from their living rooms.
While it’s great that we’re working out so frequently, new research suggests that we’re not being quite so diligent with our hygiene routines. Loads of us are being pretty gross, actually.
A survey of 2,000 people conducted by Showerstoyou.co.uk found that while 93% of respondents said they do a home workout at least once a week, 73% don’t shower straight after they exercise, favouring the option of ‘leaving it’ for as long as they can.
As well as not showering, we’re also sitting in our sweaty kit for far too long. 43% will wait hours before they even think about peeling off their sports socks to shower – and 18% admit that they don’t bother to shower at all.
Most surprisingly of all, 31% of people were found to exercise in the exact same outfit for up to three or four sessions before swapping for fresh, clean kit.
Added to this, 59% of people don’t think they need to clean workout equipment – such as kettlebells or resistance bands – at home.
But the sweaty, damp and warm conditions that surround your equipment at home are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria like E. coli, staphylococcus aureus (staph), bacillus, and streptococcal bacteria. When spread, these bacteria can cause countless sorts of illnesses and infections – and live happily on surfaces for at least three days.
‘It is very important to clean home workout equipment, but I wouldn’t use DIY blends like vinegar or bleach,’ says Martin Smith, spokesperson for Showerstoyou.co.uk.
‘These can sometimes to be too harsh, especially when applied to rubber material. Instead, try using bleach-free and alcohol-free disinfectant wipes designed specifically for specialist equipment.
‘Fortunately, you can find reasonably priced wipes of this kind online, which are also biodegradable. Machines, free weights and benches should be wiped down daily if they are in regular use.
‘Also, remember to clean the space you work out in too, especially if you are doing something like yoga, which has a lot of close contact with the floor.’
And, of course, showering regularly will help to limit the spread of germs.
Treat your home workouts like a trip to the gym – you probably wouldn’t go straight back to your desk without freshening up, so you should probably do the same at home.
And there is something thrilling about a midday shower – it will likely improve your day.
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