Deciding to join the gym can be pretty challenging at times. If you've decided to do so, congratulations! Both first-timers and those with some gym experience often have a few questions about how everything works.
One of the things people often have doubts about is using a towel. Should you use your own, the ones the gym provides, or none at all? What is the purpose of the towel in the gym? We've put together this short overview to answer these questions and highlight the importance of using a towel at the gym.
Maintaining a clean gym: One point that highlights the importance of using a towel at the gym is that it's a communal space. You're one of the many people using it during the day. For it to function correctly, everybody needs to do their part to keep it clean. That includes using a towel whenever you're exercising. Doing a good workout might not look glamorous. Almost everyone gets red, sticky, and sweaty. Some of that sweat is bound to end up on the machines you're using. That would be fine if you were alone in the gym. However, you're not. Putting a towel over the machine you're using is crucial so it can soak up the sweat. Make sure to pick out a good towel to complete its purpose here. You want something absorbent yet comfortable as your body will be touching it. We strongly advise against using gym equipment without a towel. If you forget your towel, your best bet is to ask the gym reception if they have any available for rent. Sure, they won't be as good as your own, but they'll still get the job done. Most gyms nowadays have this option, so keep that in mind.
Keeping yourself dry: Sweating is a normal bodily function that every human experiences. Its primary purpose is temperature regulation. That is achieved by releasing fluid through your sweat glands, which are situated in your armpits, palms, face, and so on. While it is necessary for the normal functioning of your body, it can be uncomfortable. Most people aren't a fan of being all wet and sticky. Also, unpleasant smells are a pretty common sweating side effect. Because of this, keeping yourself dry in public places is generally a good practice. Everybody sweats at the gym. That happens because your muscles are doing more physical work than usual and are heating up. Some people consider sweat to be a sign of a good workout. Still, it can be uncomfortable and even obstruct your exercise. For example, your hands may slip if they're overly sweaty. That is where having a towel with you in the gym can come in handy. You can easily clean up as much as you need during your workout. That will ensure greater comfort and confidence. Just toss your towels in the washing machine once you finish. Using towels to soak up the sweat can cause bacteria to build up quickly, so you must wash them regularly. You need to be careful when it comes to losing fluid. Yes, sweating is a good thing as it helps us avoid overheating. However, losing too much fluid can be dangerous and can cause dehydration. That is why drinking enough water when sweating is a must. Even if you don't feel thirsty, don't neglect this as you can't overhydrate when exercising, so hit up that water bottle.
Cleaning the machines before you use them: Even if you follow all the procedures of gym etiquette, there's no guarantee that other people will. Sure, most of them do. However, someone always does the whole workout without a towel. Apart from sweat, many nasty things can spread this way. Bacteria and viruses thrive in a warm, moist environment. That makes the gym a perfect place to pick up a cold or the flu, which you want to avoid. Ideally, you should wipe the gym machines with a towel before and after you use them. Many people bring a towel specifically for this purpose. You should ensure it's not an old towel past its prime, as this can be counterproductive. Wiping the machines after your workout is mainly for the comfort of other gym users. However, wiping them before using them is a good practice for your hygiene. By doing this, you'll remove any sweat left behind by people who used it before you. Also, you can get rid of a lot of germs this way. We know it can be tedious, and you might not remember doing it every time. Still, you should try to make this a routine, as it can benefit your health.
Showering: Many people take a shower in the gym right after their workout. By doing this, you can avoid driving home while sweaty. Also, it can save you some time, as people generally shower faster in the gym. Some gyms offer shower towels to their users, which is excellent. However, many of them don't have that amenity. If yours doesn't, and you want to shower there, you'll have to bring your towel. There are plenty of design options for towels that don't take up too much space and look and feel nice. Plus, having your towel in the gym shower can make you feel like you're showering at home, which is always really nice.
Final words: Having a good, powerful workout often means getting quite sweaty. When that happens, having a towel with you is very convenient. Many situations show the importance of using a towel at the gym for you and others. It's a generally good practice, and everyone should try to implement it in their gym routine. By doing this, the gym becomes a cleaner and nicer space for everyone.