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Have you ever watched that oh-so-sweaty person leave their workout machine without wiping it down? Yuck. The Clorox wipes, paper towels, bottles of sanitizing spray are at your gym (and studio) for a reason— because no one wants to share bacteria. But now that our living quarters, even that tiny Upper Westside studio, have become our own personal fitness paradise, we’ve got one question: Is your at-home workout equipment *really* clean?
Research has found that bacteria can live on some gym equipment (weights, mats, you name it) for three days. That’s right, 72 full hours. And your yoga mat or those dumbbells you just got delivered from Amazon so you can slay that new virtual class you just booked on Mindbody are susceptible to the same stat. While it may seem silly to clean your own “stuff” because you’re the only one using it, think about where your hands have been before you pick up those weights. Perhaps your apartment complex’s keypad? Bacteria knows no boundaries.
From your resistance bands to your brand spanking new (and yes, most likely backordered) kettlebell, the gear you’re using at home could use a good wash, rinse, repeat—especially if you’re sharing it with someone you’re stuck at home with (like your S/O or stir-crazy housemate). Even if you’re the queen of clean (like me... just ask my co-worker, Natalie), here are six tips on how to keep your gear germ-free and looking good. Because we know all those classes you’ve been streaming are making you a fitness guru.
You not only want to clean the dirt off your workout equipment, you want to sanitize it. Clean gets the dirt, sanitizing takes care of the bad stuff (aka bacteria). Before you start getting crazy with the bleach or a DIY deodorizer, you’ll want to take into account the surface you are about to wipe down. Something like your treadmill, Peleton bike, resistance bands or bench press bench can be damaged by certain chemicals and at-home cleaners. If you’re worried about your equipment, opt for disinfectant wipes especially made for gym equipment, like all-natural Wipex. Plus, it’s never a bad idea to keep some hand sanitizer next to your workout station.
Clorox wipes have become the hottest household item of 2020—and we are guessing so has virtual yoga. If you’re not a huge fan of using chemicals you can’t pronounce and throw-away wipes on equipment like your Manduka mat, there are all-natural antibacterial cleaning options that will make Mother Earth proud. Who doesn’t want to make their cleaning routine a little more green? Companies like cleancult (we called them out in our 20/20 trends), offer effective, all-natural products delivered right to your door in recycled milk cartons —and they pair perfectly with your go-to disinfectants. Cleancult’s versatile All-Purpose Cleaner is my fave for wiping down workout gear, especially yoga mats (and almost everything in my home). The Saponified Coconut Oil acts as the “heavy lifter” without harsh chemicals. After working out, spray your surface(s), wait for a couple of seconds and wipe away with a reusable towel (or an old gym t-shirt you use as a rag).
While knowing what surface you’re cleaning is key, some of your equipment might benefit from DIY solutions. Before you roll up your sleeves and become the Harry Potter of cleaning solutions, invest in a glass spray bottle (or reuse an old plastic one). Oh, and break out the essential oils because they are about to boost your at-home fitness (and cleaning) routine. Most of the DIY cleaning “recipes” you find on Pinterest include ingredients you have at home—like vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. My must-use DIY cleaner is vinegar-based (with 10-12 drops of essential oils). It’s powerful yet natural enough that I feel more confident laying facedown in Savasana with my oh-so-sensitive skin after that yoga class in NYC I just streamed from San Diego.
Now that cleaning your at-home workout gear is part of your routine (hint, hint), letting your equipment dry is key. If you’re cleaning your more expensive exercise machine with some cleaning solutions that have a “smell” or you want it to dry faster, trying turning on a fan or crack open the window to keep the air circulating. If you’re just cleaned a more porous surface (like your yoga mat) hang it outside to dry—over a railing, a chair, bike rack... you get the gist. While fresh air is good, UV rays are not. Certain materials that make workout gear can breakdown in the sun, and you don’t want to get burned before your next workout sesh.
While cleaning your equipment might seem like a no-brainer, it can be easy to ignore the surrounding area where you work out. The title of this section tells you what you need to know—don’t forget to clean and sanitize the floor where you exercise. Just think of it this way, while you’re killing it in your virtual fitness class, your hard work is being noticed, by the floor that is, as your sweat beads go flying. And last time I checked; vacuuming doesn’t do the trick for dried sweat. After class, wipe down the area around your workout space with cleaning products that are conducive to the floor. Working out on carpet? Consider switching areas or look into sanitizing and deodorizing spray for material surfaces.
The most important part of cleaning and sanitizing your workout equipment is sticking to a schedule. If you’re forgetful (like me), keep your supplies adjacent to the area where you enjoy working out. And do it on the daily. Seeing the supplies will be a reminder to clean and sanitize before (and after) you get your sweat on—because who doesn’t love starting out their class on a cleanly note? Mother would be proud! PS: don’t forget to wash your hands!
Do you have any at-home cleaning and sanitizing tips you swear by when it comes to your workout routine? From DIY to cult-favorite products, we want to know! Tag @mindbody on Instagram to let us know! Stay clean, safe and sanitized our friends!
The hybrid-style of virtual and in-person classes has become the new normal for the majority of fitness studios across the world. While we all have augmented our workout schedules to accommodate in-person and online classes, I suddenly got the motivation (it could be because I am getting married soon) to get back into in-person HIIT classes.
Pre-COVID, I had just started getting into HIIT. Coming from a girl who grew up dancing and doing barre her whole life, it was a big adjustment for me, but I started to love the classes. And with studios near me reopening, I realized that I felt ready to go back into the studio to test out a new style of HIIT class.
I found Gemini Fit by Scott Baker on the Mindbody app. It’s a HIIT/ Tabata training studio in San Diego, CA that aims to create a unique, fun, effective group and personal training experience. What immediately sold me was the class sizes were limited to 5-6 people to allow for social distancing, so I signed up a week or so in advance and was ready to go.
Not going to lie, when the day came to go to class, I was a bit nervous—what was an in-person class going to look like in the new normal? Luckily, my fears subsided when I arrived.
Scott excitedly welcomed me and gave me the low-down on everything in the studio. I got there 10 minutes early to make sure I had enough time to go through everything and check in. I also got to meet the studio mascot, Alabama, Scott’s adorable dog! Scott explained that the class would be HIIT/Tabata style (like an F45 class), where you go from station to station for a certain amount of time. He explained the exercise at each station and equipment accompanying.
He then went over the several COVID-19 precautions they were taking:
• Limiting the classes to 6 people
• Sanitization wipes and hand sanitizer at each station
• 50-minute class times
• Masks required in the lobby areas (can be worn working out depending on comfort
• Optional gloves
• Extra cleaning between each class and station
I was a bit intimidated; my workout regimen had been less than optimal (thanks, COVID), so I was scared to get back into things. Once we got moving all my concerns disappeared, and I got into a groove. The music was blasting, the exercises were dynamic, fast-paced, and effective. Each station had different props and moves, and they all felt extremely safe and clean.
What stood out to me immediately was the personalization of the class.
I was so impressed with the way he personalized each move at the different stations for each person. He really gets to know his team and provides separate workouts for everyone based on their comfort level and what they want to achieve—it’s almost like a personal training session!
As the 50-minute class was drawing toward the close, I realized I didn’t want it to end! It had flown by due to the moving of stations and dynamic mix of exercises. I was feeling the burn and going to be sore the next day—but I loved it.
What I enjoyed most about the class was the fact that I felt so safe the entire time, and could go at my own pace and comfort level, which is especially nice coming back to an in-person for the first time since COVID-19. I can’t wait to go back and would recommend trying the class. The fast-paced style of HIIT may not be for everyone, but if you're looking for a new workout to mix up your fitness routine, it’s definitely worth a try.
Want to try it for yourself? Book a class at Gemini Fit! Not ready to go in person, browse virtual HIIT on Mindbody.