Gyms were problematic even before COVID-19

Yet, a lifetime of experience and observation leads me to believe that brick-and-mortar gyms are a potential heath threat (and, by the way, they always were), as well as a waste of time and money for most people.

Ironically, from a health perspective, your gym may be the worst place to work out. First of all, hot and sweaty environments like gyms are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. Even before the coronavirus, most exercise enthusiasts were probably unaware of the shocking number of risks associated with using shared exercise equipment. According to a study by Fit Rated, an exercise equipment review company, gym weights have a whopping 362 times more germs than a toilet seat.

Overall, gyms are ripe for spreading conditions like athlete’s foot, jock itch, ringworm, warts, the common cold, flu, hepatitis, diarrhea and even MRSA…

Gyms are also typically not a safe space for a lot of people, especially larger bodies and Black bodies. Sadly, as in the larger society, fat-shaming is a part of the fitness culture. While my 30 years of experience in gyms is anecdotal, I have personally witnessed the stigmatization, unwelcome comments and judgments of larger bodies in the gym. People should be able to work out without being body-shamed, but according to the American Psychological Association, there is significant stigma among gym members whom society considers fat.