Protect Yourself: Cover The Gym Mats

Do you visit the gym often?  Do you do exercises that require you to use their mats?  I frequent the gym 3 times a week and use their exercise floor mats each time I go.  Lately I have been thinking about how much sweat each mat “sees” on a daily basis.  Group workout classes start before 6 am and end about 9 pm throughout the week.  Throughout my personal workout, I can see my personal spots of sweat on the mats, so I’m sure everyone’s sweat is just “laying” on top of each others on these mats.  After the class if over, everyone hurries to put their equipment away as another class is coming in to grab their equipment to get ready for their class.  With back to back classes, there is no way these mats are getting cleaned in between sessions.

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Do you lay a towel across your mat before you lay down?  I have seen many women cover their mats, but I have never bothered with hauling around a towel.  I just go with the flow, grab a mat, use it and put it away for the next lady to use in her class, like the majority of the other women at the gym.   The same goes with the machines, the gym offers disinfectant spray and paper towels for you to clean your machine before and after use, but how many actually do that on a regular basis?

Let me tell you, after this past week’s experience, I will definitely be sure to pack a towel and always clean those machines, both before and after my personal use.  Last week I noticed a red spot on my forehead and thought I had been bit by a spider.  I used Benedryl and watched it for a few days.  After it began to whelp up, my husband said it could be poison ivy, so we went to Calamine lotion.  When we didn’t see any improvement, I went to the doctor to find that I had caught a skin infection that I caught at the gym from working out on the sweaty mats.  I was given a medication which I ended up being allergic to that caused this to spread across my face.  It ran across my scalp and also caused swelling under my eyes.

I didn’t want to go back to the gym, or much elsewhere  until this cleared up, but now I have the right medicine and this rash is almost gone.  I have definitely learned my lesson about the gym mats and will always take time to grab that towel before I leave for my workout.

3 thoughts on “Protect Yourself: Cover The Gym Mats”

  1. Ewww, I would hate to imagine how icky those mats really are. Kinda reminds me of those changing stations in the bathroom at malls, departments stores, discount stores, and restaurants. They probably aren’t cleaned or sanitized on a regular basis.

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