Working out at home has become increasingly popular, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic took hold. This has led to an increased focus on keeping fitness equipment clean and germ free.
Even before Covid-19, it was hugely important to ensure that your equipment was hygienic, but today there is that added extra reason. In this guide, different forms of gym equipment are listed, and the cleaning regimen for each discussed.
Hand weights can come in a variety of different forms; however, most will have some kind of grip which is usually made of rubber.
These textured surfaces can be a haven for grime and bacteria and of course, sweat. A simple scrubbing brush and good old-fashioned soap and water can be an ideal way to clean hand weights. For a deeper clean, wipe them with anti-bacterial wipes or spray disinfectant into the any cracks in the grip. However, remember it is not just the handles that need cleaning. Give the dumbbells and the weights themselves a regular clean too.
Resistance bands can be a bit trickier to clean, as many cleaning solutions can actually damage the material. The best option is to simply use water, with maybe just a couple of drops of natural soap mixed in. Having cleaned them, it’s a good idea to let them dry naturally indoors instead of in the sun, which can also deteriorate them.
If you are doing regular yoga workouts, it is a good idea to clean your yoga mat at least once a week. One way of cleaning is to use a disinfectant wipe. You will need to use this forcefully on the mat to clean it thoroughly.
When cleaning them this way, it’s important to let the mat dry completely, as using them or rolling them up whilst still damp can create further hygiene issues. Occasionally you can also do a deeper clean. You can do this is in a sink or a bath and use a scrubbing brush to clean thoroughly. After this deeper wash, still use a disinfectant wipe afterwards, to ensure the best hygiene for your mat.
Disinfectant wipes are also very handy for wiping down the handles and screen of any cardio machines in your home. Regular drops of sweat, dust and grime can get into the workings of your treadmill, exercise bike, rowing machine or elliptical trainer.
Getting into the habit of cleaning up after every work out is a good idea – or at least once per week if this feels excessive. Also bear in mind the areas your feet come into contact with. Running shoes or trainers can be the perfect transport method for germs and bacteria to move from the streets to your home. If you have an exercise bike, give the pedals a good clean periodically and the same can be said for the belt on a treadmill.
These items can be the most difficult to clean. All you’ll be able to do is to give them the occasional wipe with anti-bacterial wipes. Submerging them in water is a no-no as they are likely to retain moisture which can create more bacteria than ever. Luckily, foam rollers can be relatively cheap, so if you get to the stage where you feel they need more than just a wipe, it’s probably simply time to purchase a new one.
Many people will use a punch bag as part of their fitness regime. And anyone who does will know exactly how sweaty your hands can become inside of a boxing glove. They can also become quite smelly. Give your gloves a regular wipe after any workouts. It can also be an idea to pop an air purifying bag inside the gloves overnight after a workout.
If using shoes for your home workouts, it can be an idea to use the same shoes on all equipment, and not wear them at all otherwise, especially outdoors. This will keep bacteria out and is the most hygienic way of completing home workouts.
When working out you can use a variety of other accessories regularly that need cleaning. One good example is your water bottle, which can be cleaned in the same way as you wash up. Choose a dishwasher proof water bottle if this makes life easier. Some people use tins of food as free weights, and these can be wiped down with anti-bacterial wipes. The final cleaning advice is to ensure that the surface you are working out on remains clean. This might be a wooden floor or a carpet, so clean them more regularly than you would otherwise.
It has never been more important to keep all of your fitness equipment clean. Hygiene has to be high on your agenda and thankfully, the methods in which you’ll clean your equipment are usually straightforward. Stick with the advice above and your home workouts should be bacteria free.
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