What you need to know:
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many people to work out from home. Truth be told, it is the safest option now. However, since you might be sharing a home gym with others in your home, it is still important to practice good hygiene.
A lot has changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Several public places such as gyms and fitness centres are closed or are operating partially. This has caused many exercise enthusiasts to turn one corner of their homes into a workout area. While this ensures that one keeps physically active, it is important to remember that gyms or workout areas, in this case, are germ hives.
As you work out, sweat is likely to drop on various surfaces depending on the intensity of your workout and unlike previously, the cleanliness of this place depends solely on you, either as an individual or family.
Ian Kamara, a fitness trainer, says while home workout areas may not be as messy as public gyms, it is important that they are kept clean through regular cleaning, more so if there is more than one user.
Kamara adds that as people move from one piece of equipment to the other, coupled with heavy breathing and sweating, bacteria is transferred from one place to another and it is only a matter of time before harmful bacteria is introduced into one’s mouth or eyes.
Generally, Max Mukisa, a fitness instructor, says it is prudent that one disinfects all equipment including machines, mats, and weights, among others, after a workout.
“Also, wash water bottles and towels used during the workout because reuse is dangerous,” he shares.
Mukisa says a deep clean, at least twice a month, depending on how often you use the workout area and the number of people who use it, will help you ensure that all the corners are cleaned of dirt and dust that you might have missed during regular cleaning.
“In case you need to make your own disinfectant, add a quarter litre of bleach to four litres of water. Use this mixture to wipe the surfaces and mop the floor. For the floor, add liquid soap for deeper cleaning,” he advises.
Items to pay keen attention to when cleaning include:
These include dumbbells and kettlebells whose grip area is textured and thus, easy for dirt to settle. Mukisa says wiping the surfaces will rid the place of dirt while spraying with disinfectant ensures that any hidden bacteria is killed.
Kamara says both sides of the mat ought to be cleaned and ensure it dries well before rolling it up.
Wiping these with sanitiser every after use is advised. However, when conducting a deep clean-up, Kamara says one should soak them in a bucket of soapy water and wash thoroughly. “Thereafter, rinse and wring before allowing them to dry,” he shares.
Mukisa says in case you bring outdoor workout shoes indoors, disinfecting the area and items they get in contact with is paramount.
These carry the biggest percentage of sweat and it is not right that they get re-used after one workout. “Regardless of how little you sweat, proper hygiene demands that you wash your workout clothes after every workout session to lower the risk of spreading fungal infections and acne, among others,” Kamara shares.
Wash your hands
Wash our hands before and after you work out. Use warm water, soap, and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. As you wash your hands, make sure you are really scrubbing your fingers too, since you may touch your face with them. It is also not a bad idea to have a hand sanitiser bottle hand in your home gym as well.