Our illnesses and breakouts could be caused by gross gym habits

Caroline Allen
Contributor
Our sweaty habits could be making us ill. [Photo: Getty]

The whole point of going to the gym is to build up your health, not to contract an illness.

But it seems our hygiene habits are making us ill and exacerbating our breakouts. This is according to a new study by Tap Warehouse.

The research found that 23% of gym-goers waited over an hour to have a shower after a workout.

The findings of this study will certainly encourage us to take a closer look at our post-workout routines.

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We get how it happens. You don’t shower at the gym, so the journey home racks up the minutes followed by the endorphin-fuelled workout overview you text to your mates.

Soon, an hour has passed and you still haven’t showered.

It seems pretty gross, right? But that’s the reality for a quarter of gym-users.

In fact, around one in six women don’t shower for at least three hours post-workout. Men are slightly better at this with only around one in ten (11%) skipping the shower for at least three hours.

It’s still not ideal. After all, you’re turning your body into a hotbed for fungal infections - not to mention the stench.

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It doesn’t end there though. Believe us, we wish it did.

The stats also found that 10% never wash their gym clothes, over half of people have never washed their gym bag and 13% use the same cloth to wipe their face and the gym equipment.

Now you’re all suitably grossed out, let’s look at some of the reasons to improve your gym hygiene regime.

The NHS says that the chances of contracting Athlete’s Foot are lessened if you do simple things like wear clean socks everyday and use separate towels for your feet and body (and also definitely use a separate towel to wipe down your machine).

Fungal infections like Athlete’s Foot, thrush and fungal nail infections love to develop in sweaty, damp and hot conditions, so don’t give them an opportunity to.

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While you might not consider your gym bag to be something that needs cleaning, it is. If you think about what you’re putting in the bag; a sweaty or wet towel, sweaty clothing, dirty trainers, you can see why it needs a regular wash.

To make sure you’re doing everything you can to avoid these fungal infections, make sure you shower as soon as possible after a workout (whether you think you need to or not), wash your clothes after each session, clean your water bottles and bags regularly and take a separate towel for your face.

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