With all the sweat (and sometimes ego) flying around a gym, it’s really no surprise that they’re the perfect breeding ground for germs.

The key to a cleaner, and possibly healthier, workout session? “Following the unwritten rules of the gym ensures everyone can enjoy the facilities without getting a foot infection or being smoked out by body odour,” says one of Australia’s most respected etiquette experts and Rexona Etiquette Ambassador, Anna Musson.

With that in mind, Musson has revealed the most common gym hygiene faux pas’ and shared her top tips for proper gym etiquette. If you don’t want to be “that” person at the gym, take note.

The most common gym etiquette faux pas’, according to Anna Musson

1Nudity

It’s important to be comfortable with your body and a little nudity is acceptable at the gym, but wear a towel to the shower and back. Then when dressing, bottoms to the wall. The same rule applies when side stepping to your seat in the theatre; patrons would rather see your face than your bottom.

2Going barefoot

Image: iStock

Wear thongs to the shower if you have a foot condition – and if you would like to avoid one.

3Leaving perspiration on equipment

Image: iStock

Leaving perspiration on a machine is inexcusable. Bring a towel and check for your perspiration footprint on machines after using them, even if your workouts only generate perspiration “glow”.

4Wearing workout gear to the shops

Image: iStock

If you are leaving the gym in your workout gear, popping to the shops to pick up lunch is fine, but popping in to the changing room to try on clothes is not. Shower at the gym or go home, no on wants to try on moist or smelly clothes after you. It’s also imperative that you wash your gym gear after each use.

5Forgetting deodorant

Body odour is the pits, literally. That’s why deodorant is a must-have in any gym kit arsenal. Rexona Clinical Protection passed our sniff test, and I’m sure it will for you (and fellow gym-goers), too.

6Update your gym gear

Image: iStock

If the last time you went to the gym was 1995 and you are planning to turn up in a G-string unitard, a quick check of gym fashion will make your trip less stressful. Having said that, it’s not a fashion show so matching outfits are not required.

7Don’t talk in class

Image: iStock

Fairly self-explanatory, but laugh when the instructor tells a joke, they have to look at you for 45 mins.

Anna Musson’s top 3 tips for proper gym hygiene etiquette:

  • Have a gym towel and wash it regularly – better yet, have a few. This will keep your bathroom towels good and your gym towel in the wash rotation.
  • Clean out your gym bag regularly – missing a sweaty sock can cause the whole bag to take on an unpleasant odour.
  • Don’t leave sweaty clothes to sit for days, the smell of body odour can stay on clothes if not removed quickly. Remember it’s the bacteria on the skin not the perspiration itself that causes body odour.
A dedicated article for Rexona.