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Originally Published by Health

Different parts of a gym, like shared gym equipment and pools, are often breeding grounds for infections. However, simple actions can save you from common skin infections and other illnesses that easily spread while you sweat. Here’s what you need to know about preventing common infections at the gym.

What Causes Infections to Spread in Gyms?

Some infections can be spread by contact, leading to skin infections. This is because certain types of bacteria, viruses, and fungi thrive in warm, moist environments around the gym. Those places are areas like:

  • Floors of community showers
  • Bottoms of smelly gym bags
  • Insides of running shoes

In some cases, infections that spread through the air can also occur. Researchers investigated the risk of infections for individuals exercising at a gym. They found that infections could spread more through the air when there are higher carbon dioxide levels—when more people were in the gym.

Skin Infections at the Gym

Research has found that bacteria leading to potential skin infections and illnesses were on 10% to 30% of gym surfaces.3 Several types of skin infections can spread at the gym. You can get them from touching any surface, including equipment, gym mats, and the floor.

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infection prevention