As if you couldn't come up with enough excuses to skip that workout on your own, The Washington Post recently published an article titled "Consumer Reports Insights: "Health clubs harbor hidden dangers". What a way to motivate the obese masses!
In it they list five dangers and how to minimize your risk for each. They include frightening diseases like staph infections from germy equipment and dirty pools that cause gastrointestinal illness. Heart attacks, eye injuries and muscle strains are also included. All legit concerns at some level, but not unique to the gym in most cases. And really, the risk of most of them is minuscule in comparison to the risk of obesity and a lack of exercise.
But there are some other major hazards that are only found at the gym, and you'll have to weigh for yourself if they're more or less hazardous to your health than your gym workout.
Post-Locker-Room Stress Syndrome
This occurs when you're subjected to the proud naked bodies of people who, uh ... perhaps shouldn't be so proud. Getting a glimpse while someone is changing their clothes is one thing, but seeing them parade around, blow dry their hair and moisturize their entire body in the buff can cause some serious flashbacks.
When there's an entire row of empty treadmills and someone constantly picks the one next to you; or out of all the empty lockers in the locker room they choose the one right next to the one you're opening, it can really mess with a person's head. WHY?!!!
Permanent Nasal Damage
Sometimes the body odor is so ripe and repulsive, the membranes in your nose are sure to suffer permanent damage.
Ear Grunt Disorder
While tinnitus is the term for ringing ears, I'm not sure what the one is for constantly hearing grunting in your ears. But if you workout near the free weights, chances are the gratuitous grunting will be so loud and frequent that the sound will echo in your ears long after you've left.
All those women who put their makeup on BEFORE they workout may make you feel slovenly for thinking it was a good idea to wash yours OFF before you started. Other contributors to this disorder are the ultra-competitive class participants who stand front and center and show off just to show everyone else up.
What frightening gym dangers do you encounter?
Image via DieselDemon/Flickr