If you are a student or faculty at Christopher Columbus High School, you are aware of the towel policy.  If you aren’t, then I can only hope that your gym has a towel policy as well.  While you may not enjoy, nor understand it, this post will help shed some light on its importance.

There are a number of potential health risks arising from contact with a damp and sweaty material.  Bacteria thrive in the moist environments prevalent at the gym.  Think about the pieces of cardio and resistance equipment, not to mention the free weight benches.  This article isn’t meant to scare you, but understand that a risk of bacteria born infections, rashes, and/or illness can arise if the necessary precautions aren’t taken.

As a means to keep the facility clean, safe, and sanitary we have purchased antibacterial wipes.  These are used to wipe down the machines every night before I leave.  They are strategically placed around the facility. We implore the students and faculty to use these wipes after each use of the machine.  It is both considerate and precautionary to do this.  The purchase of these wipes is reflective of our intention to keep the facility clean and safe.   Even with these precautions you may still be at risk. So what can you do?

I require students and faculty to bring a towel to the gym every day.  It will help to keep the place cleaner and drier.  Using your towel to wipe perspiration from your skin will greatly decrease the chances of it reaching the equipment.  You can also place the towel on the machine before you sit on it.  This will provide an extra layer of material between yourself and the bench.

In my opinion, it’s an easy and logical decision.  You’re at the gym; you sweat; wipe it off.  I stand by my decision to maintain strict adherence to the towel policy.  So next time you are considering working out at the Bernhardt Wellness Center or at your own gym, do yourself (and others) a favor and bring a towel.