Fitness is a large part of my life. Since sophomore year i spent at least an hour a day working out. It is important for each and every person to spend at least some portion of time out of their day to maintain a high standard of health. Back home in Jupiter Florida, I worked out at Golds gym which had the same constant users and was rather small compared to the IM buildings gym along with the Rec Hall and White Building. There was not even close to as many people attending my gym as the gyms here. With that being said, the gyms here contain way more bacteria as well as people.
Here at Penn State there are well over forty thousand students and thousands of these students choose to workout at the various gyms. With these thousands of people competing for weights at the gym to better themselves and become healthy, they are also taking other risks, such as getting sick. Machines are another story, they are constantly wiped down but no one takes the time to wipe down each and every little weight in the gym. Each day hundreds of people touch the same weight and continue to touch their face without thinking about the potential risks they are taking by doing so. Personally I know for a fact that nine times out of ten when I have gotten sick is most likely from the gym. Studies have found that the average weight in a gym could have up to 362 times the bacteria of a toilet seat. That is disgusting and it brings up the point that it is crucial to wash your hands immediately after finishing a workout and to avoid touching your face. Many people get grossed out when someone doesn’t wash their hands after using the bathroom but most people don’t even think twice about washing their hands after a gym session.
There are many ways sickness could be avoided in the gym while lifting weights. The most obvious would be to wash hands as much as possible and use hand sanitizers. Other less obvious methods would be to avoid touching your face (eyes, mouth and nose), wipe down machines before use and wear long sleeve shirts if possible. Eating the proper nutrients and getting proper sleep is important to avoiding sickness from the gym, since intense training (known as over training) does temporarily weaken the immune system. While training, the body releases cortisol and adrenaline, which can temporarily weaken the immune system during the time in which the body recovers. This brings up the point that many harmful bacteria found in the gym take advantage of weaknesses, so it is important to take certain precautions.