With gyms now allowed to open, many gym goers will be eager to step back and hit the squat rack. So how do you stay as safe as possible?

Before the lockdown, MyProtein studied the routines and habits of 2,081 fitness enthusiasts to understand what is important to you when it comes to gym etiquette. Is it okay to wear your favorite workout outfit again after a sweaty gym session? Should you use a towel? And is it normal to train when you are sick?

Here’s what we found in February:

  • More than 1 in 2 admit to not washing their sports clothes after training.
  • 70% will go to the gym while they are sick.
  • 51% do not shower immediately after training.

Hygiene advice at the gym

1. Do not reuse sports clothing

Getting a good look at the gym can be a huge confidence booster and your gymdrobe is a big part of that. Not only do they make you look great, but they adapt to the movements you make and adapt to your body. This includes tracking the sweat you produce during an intense session. Although they are designed to handle your workout, they should always be washed between sessions ideally!

According to our survey, many seem to disagree, because 51% admitted to wearing the same training equipment again after standard training sessions. Another 11% said they would wear the same gym outfit again after a sweaty and intense session – not the most hygienic gesture. If you find yourself wearing the same fitness kit over and over again, maybe it’s time to invest in some new gym clothes for next season and stay cool with every session.

2. Clean cell phones and headphones

From watching Netflix on the treadmill to tracking your elevators, cell phones, headphones, and earphones are essential in the gym. There are many apps designed to make your diet more efficient, and listening to music can help you maximize your session.

But how often do we clean this part of our gym equipment? Only 15% of us cleaned our cell phones and headphones after each session, and 52% of us did not update our technology after the training. Simply wipe them off with an antibacterial wipe before leaving the gym and upon entering!

3. Wash your water bottles

The water bottle doesn’t seem to be popular with gym goers. While they don’t require as much cleaning as your protein shaker, they still require special attention. We have found that the pre-locking, only 35% washed their water bottles thoroughly after a workout.

Staying hydrated when exercising is essential, especially during a high intensity workout. Drinking water helps replace any fluid lost through sweating. Even if you think it’s just a little workout, you may be thirstier than you think and, according to our research, one in ten people (11%) haven’t even had a bottle of water at the gym.

4. Take a gym towel

Face the facts – if you really give your all in the gym, you’re going to sweat. A towel can be a great way to dry, clean your kit, and create a buffer between you and the equipment. If you know it’s going to be a hot endurance training, cooling pads are designed to help keep you cool even in the toughest workouts.

Despite the many practical uses of the sports towel, our survey found that 51% of us did not bring a towel to the gym at all. Now might be the time to invest in one, but be sure to check your gym’s new rules to find out if you can pick one up.

5. Wash your hands before and after the session

Staying clean and hygienic while you exercise is a great way to stay fit and healthy. Bacteria from sweat and shared equipment can move around the gym, but a great way to keep it all at bay is to wash your hands.

Only 42% said they always washed their hands before and after a gym session, but now more than ever it’s important to give them a good scrub to help keep you germ-free.

6. Miss the gym when sick

Missing a session can feel like you’re slipping your progress. But if you are not feeling well, it goes without saying, don’t take the risk!

Before locking, 70% of us thought it was okay to go to the gym while sick to continue their routine, although we’re sure that has since changed, let’s broadcast as a precaution.

Not only can this make you feel a lot worse, it can also affect those working around you as germs can spread easily. By simply taking a little time to monitor your illness and make sure you don’t have severe symptoms, you can speed up your recovery process and be back to the gym in no time, without affecting those around you.

7. Take a shower after training

After an intense session, there’s nothing like a stimulating shower to get you ready for the rest of the day. More than half of respondents (51%) disagreed and did not shower immediately after completing their training. 35% took a shower later, while 16% would not rinse at all after exercise!

While it’s good to cool off, a shower after your workout can also help wick away sweat, keep your skin clear, and reduce the chance of blemishes. Depending on your gym, you may need to shower at home – so check your gym’s new guidelines to see if showers are being used before you go.

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