8 infectious diseases that live in the gym

Posted on Nov 8, 2022      156

In today’s article, we’re going to list 8 infections that you can catch at the gym, and tell you what to do to prevent this from happening

Most people associate the gym with health. Go there with the desire to lose weight, get in shape, and improve health indicators. But you have to be careful and not ignore the basic rules of hygiene. After all, not everyone knows that the walls of the gym are inhabited by infectious diseases, and if you do not take precautions, then instead of benefits, the gym will only bring harm.

In today’s article, we will list 8 infections that you can catch at the gym and tell you what to do to prevent this from happening.

Staphylococcus aureus

In the U.S., the National Association of Multi-Sport Coaches has concluded that more than half of the diseases that live in gyms are classified as infectious skin diseases.

Coaches recommend keeping your body clean before, after, and during workouts, and not using dirty gym equipment.

Let’s say you’re working out on an elliptical trainer, at which time you sweat and wipe sweat from your face with your hand; a few days later, you find rashes or inflamed pustules with a golden crust on your skin. Such symptoms could likely be a sign of Staphylococcus aureus. It causes infections of the skin and internal organs. In addition, the bacterium is resistant to many antibiotics, including penicillin.

Wiping off the sweat that has come out with a towel is not the best option, as the cloth will come into contact with the trainer if you hang it on the handrail. But it will be better than wiping with your hands. However, the towel should be washed at a high temperature after each trip to the gym.

Candidiasis (yeast fungus)

The conditionally pathogenic candida fungus provokes the development of not only thrush but also ringworm. If yeast fungus is not so easy to catch at the gym, the probability of bringing home after training ringworm is much higher. There are many carriers of this disease, and sometimes they don’t know it themselves.

Candida infiltrates the upper skin, sometimes the nail plate. It looks like reddish spots with white flecks. The nail plate yeast fungus most often stains white, and the nail may come away from the bed.

Yeast fungus likes humid and warm environments, so you need to be careful in pools, showers, saunas, and changing rooms.

Foot and toenail fungus

Besides candida, other types of fungi - pathogenic fungi - can affect your nails at the gym. They also affect the feet. Therefore, in common showers, wash only in rubber slippers. In the sauna also need to go for shoes.

Sports mat can be infected with fungus if someone has previously stood on it with bare feet. If contaminated items are not disinfected, the fungus can exist on them for at least a year.

Disinfect things most often with Formidron, vinegar, or more delicate drugstore sprays.

Washing towels at a low temperature does not rid fabrics of fungus. Keep this in mind if you want to borrow a towel from the gym administrator.

Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is another reason to wear shoes to the gym.

There are over 100 types of papillomavirus, 13 of which are considered especially dangerous because they can contribute to cancer. Of course, the risk of contracting the most dangerous type of the virus is small, but you can suffer from small, unpleasant growths.

The virus is transmitted through skin contact with infected surfaces or after touching the skin of another person.


The bacterium is considered conditionally pathogenic because it is part of the normal intestinal microflora. With stool, it enters the environment and is transmitted by household means. It can be detected on trainers, rods, faucets - anywhere a person with unwashed hands touches things.

If there are no problems with the immune system, Klebsiella will not be a problem. But if the body’s defenses are weak, the infection can behave aggressively.

The bacterium affects the lungs and urinary tract. Less commonly, it provokes blood diseases and meningitis. The location of Klebsiella depends on how it entered the human body. For example, if the bacterium is introduced through the nose, pneumonia can occur.

Escherichia coli

E. coli can be contracted if you don’t wash your hands in time or consume unwashed food. Favorite habitats for the infection are buttons, door handles, exercise equipment handrails, and gym mats. Be sure to wash your hands after exercising and don’t touch your body until they are washed.

Most often, E. coli causes vomiting, nausea, upset stomach; and, sometimes, pneumonia.

It is not uncommon to confuse the infection with hepatitis A and to treat it yourself incorrectly. Therefore, see a doctor at the first sign of symptoms.


Medicine knows about 20 types of streptococcal infections. They are transmitted through household items and airborne. They survive at high temperatures, so streptococci live not only on exercise equipment but also in saunas and showers.

The infection manifests as soreness in the throat, and a severe form of strep can cause pneumonia.

Look at pictures of sick people online, and you won’t forget your antibacterial wipes, chlorhexidine, and personal towel at home again.

Flu and cold viruses

Experts have found that flu and cold viruses live for about three hours on the skin and up to four hours on other surfaces. Keep this in mind, and be sure to take antibacterial wipes and a personal towel to the gym, which should only be kept in a bag.


The most important thing in protecting yourself from infections is a strong immune system. It is formed primarily by a healthy lifestyle. Also, do not forget to timely undergo examinations by a doctor and treat detected diseases. If you have skin disorders (cracks, cuts, micro-traumas), don’t go to the gym until they heal.

Do not forget about the rules of personal hygiene - wash your hands after exercising and use your own towel. Periodically wipe your feet with antifungal cream. And do not go barefoot, be sure to wear a change of shoes, and in the shower - especially.

All the above measures will allow you to go to the gym without a high risk of returning from there with an infection. 

Teg:   gym  fungus