Germ Prevention – How to Clean Your Total Gyms and Your Yoga/Pilates Mats
Just for the record, I am no germaphobe, nor is this blog meant to turn you into one. But I do want to share with you some healthy tips to help you prevent your gym toys from making your clients and your members ill. It’s no secret that the gym and workout equipment can be a cesspool of dangerous germs that can pose serious health risks ranging from the common cold or flu to the real fun stuff like diarrhea and even Hepatitis A.
Almost every piece of equipment in your gym has a place to put hands. Health experts are constantly warning us about how most germs and bacteria are transferred through our hands. That is why they harp on frequently washing your hands, coughing or sneezing in your arm instead of your hands, and using hand sanitizers wherever possible. Furthermore, when your clients or members use your yoga and Pilates mats, their hands and feet are sharing the same space and swapping germs and dirt from the studio floor or wherever they have been since they removed their shoes.
FEAR NOT! Read on for some simple ways to keep your clients and members healthy in your workout setting so a germ laden illness won’t zap their energy, keep them from your workout, cause them to miss work, or enjoy life in general.
Cleaning Your Total Gym
Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer readily available for people to use – a quick squirt will go a long way in preventing the spread of germs. After each workout, wipe down the glideboard with an anti-bacterial cleanser. Move the glideboard up and down rails to ensure smooth rolling. If glideboard does not roll smoothly, pop off the glideboard and the clean rails and wheels thoroughly. Refer to your Owner’s Manual to see how easy this is.
What disinfectant should I use?
Great question. Use a non-alcohol and non-bleach product. Although effective, most cleaners contain some harsh chemicals, like alcohol, that can damage the vinyl or mat rubber. A better alternative is to buy an all-natural cleaner or make you own! Here are a few simple recipe examples (and there are many more on the web):
> Soap/Vinegar/Water: Mix 1 part dish soap to 2 parts vinegar – I recommend a scented vinegar – and top with 5 parts water.
> Essential Oils/Water: Add about 10 drops of Tea Tree Oil to 12-16oz of water for a truly all-natural cleaner. You could also add a scented oil such as calming lavender or an uplifting peppermint oil to add a pleasant aroma-therapy scent.
Cleaning Your Yoga/Pilates Mats
This is one of the dirtiest places for germs to hide. These mats are usually porous, soft and can harbor a lot of bacteria.
Here are a few tips:
> Spray the mats before and after each use. Be sure to check out the video for some eye-opening ways your mat gets dirtier than you think!
> Use an industrial washing machine or the local laundromats industrial washer (used for comforters and such). Ensure you check the manufacturer’s instructions, as for some mats it is not recommended.
Just take some of these simple, extra precautions to ensure your clients are not getting anything else from your training other than a buff, healthy body!
Be sure to check out the video to learn more tips, tricks and information to minimize your germ exposure. I’ll also introduce you a disinfectant that I developed called NiceDogYoga Mat Spray especially formulated to:
> provide an all-natural way to disinfect the germs, fungus and smell that tends to build up
> provide an aroma-therapy element that would enhance the students’ practice and freshen their mat with pleasing scents.
People love it! Check it out at NiceDogYoga.com
About the Author
JayDee Cutting III, MBA is an Educator for the American Council On Exercise, possesses 12 fitness certifications including pilates, yoga, personal training, lifestyle & weight management, is a Total Gym master trainer and spokesmodel since 2004, lectures and teaches wellness at Rancho La Puerta Fitness Spa since 1994, is featured in over 10 fitness DVD’s and over 40 fitness television programs, developed Coregolf Fitness Program, and founded NiceDogYoga Company. Personal Mission Statement: “My passion is inspiring people to enhance their lives through wellness, creating healthier, happier, higher qualities of life.”