As winter approaches us there are some basic rules you should follow as a gym member to avoid being “that stinky person” at your gym or in your group fitness classes. During the summer months most gym’s are able to have fans blowing and doors open to let fresh air and a nice breeze flow about the gym; however; once colder weather hits this is less likely and everyone working in the gym is trapped together.
I personally think there is nothing worse than enjoying your run on the treadmill and then someone who smells like they haven’t washed their gym clothes in a month hops on the treadmill right next to you. If you don’t pass out instantly from the rank smell, it will definitely kill a great workout. No one wants to be the “workout killer”! This is also true for someone who is coughing and sneezing all over the equipment next to you. We all know that when you are sick, sometimes it does feel better to just “sweat it out”, but if you are sick to the point that your germs might be contagious or you are not able to control your coughing or sneezing it might be best to keep your workout confined to your own home.
As a gym owner, in my personal opinion their are a few gym hygiene etiquette practices everyone should follow (some might be obvious to us – but trust me it’s not that obvious to others!) I am going to share them with you below to keep you healthy this winter and help you to not be “that stinky person”
- Wear CLEAN CLOTHES every time you workout and wash them right after your workout to avoid the sweat smells from seeping into the fabrics. Occasionally some types of workout wear will absorb sweat smells if not washed right away, or if left in the washing machine wet for too long without putting them in the dryer. If you find that some of your workouts clothes are beginning to smell “no so fresh” anymore, there are a few ways to get them smelling fresh and clean again. Try soaking your gym clothes in 1 cup of white vinegar in the kitchen sink before putting them in the washing machine for about 15-30 minutes, or you can throw 1-2 cups of white vinegar right into the washing machine’s rinse cycle with the gym clothes (then add your regular soap for the wash cycle). This will help eliminate odors in your clothes, you can also try baking soda or special “odor eliminating” detergents. One last tip is to air-dry or put in dryer on low heat, as high heat tends to bring out the smells more.
- Put on extra deodorant before you head to the gym, especially if you worked all day and haven’t re-applied since that morning. If you have a physical job where you might be sweating throughout the day, perhaps take a quick little shower before you head to the gym. Maybe even consider using a little nice smelling body spray too; however, you also don’t want to be that person wearing excess perfume or cologne! Be careful with how much you spray yourself and find a happy medium. Many times the “smelly person” doesn’t know they are the “smelly person”, so just give yourself a little “arm pit” whiff before heading the gym to see if you are “fresh”. Make sure you shower right after working out not only to wash the sweat off your body, but also to keep your body clean and prevent odors from sticking to you. Wash your hair regularly when sweating excessively to avoid greasy and stinky hair.
- Bring a clean sweat towel with you that is clean to wipe down equipment after you use it, especially if you are someone who sweats a lot. I love to sweat and yes, I know I sweat a lot when i’m pushing myself at the gym; however, I always carry a sweat towel with me to wipe down equipment before I leave it for the next person. This should be whether you are on a cardio machine or even in a group fitness class, no one wants to come up to a piece of equipment drenched in the sweat from the person before them.
- Always wash your hands before and after using equipment at the gym. Many gyms have hand sanitizer and hand soap available, so make sure you use it to avoid picking up any extra germs while working out.
Some of these things might seem very obvious, but trust me, as someone who hangs out in the gym all day – you would be amazed at the smells that you experience and hygiene practices you notice of some people! Let’s all work together this winter to not be “that stinky person”.
One last thing: Group question – if you knew someone who was at the gym all the time at the same time as you and they seem as though they don’t follow these practices, would you say something to them? It might be effecting the quality and enjoyment of your workout, so what would you do? Leave a comment below – I’m curious to see how people would approach this situation.