Your New Year's resolution could make you sick

3:41 PM, Jan 5, 2013   |    comments
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The exercise may be good for you, but what you may not know is that gyms are infested with germs.

The quest for good health can actually make you sick.

The gym is like a petri dish, into which every member is shedding bacteria, viruses and fungi.

"I'm Jason Tetro, I'm a Microbiology investigator Jason Tetro went into a gym to gather information.

According to Tetro, even a sweat print is a great place for bacteria and fungi to spread."

"You have fecal coliform, like e-coli," Tetro said. "And the other thing you may be picking up are warts, the papilloma virus or the fungus that causes athlete's foot."

You can also pick up a cold, flu, or even dangerous skin infections.

So before you use any equipment, make sure to wipe it down.

And don't touch your face without washing your hands first.

Tetro said it's amazing how often he sees people in the gym showers with bare feet.

"If you're going in there with bare feet then there's a good likelihood you'll be coming out of there with either a wart or athlete's foot," Tetro said. 

And it's not just other people you have to worry about. You can actually make yourself sick - with your own dirty gear.

Tetro tested a used bag, bottle and mat.

It turns out the gym bag was relatively clean.

But the water bottle, he says, contained bacteria from backwash that doubled every twenty minutes.

"Within 24 hours that can basically grow to an extent that it could potentially cause you an illness," Tetro said.

So make sure to wash it with hot water and soap.

Which also goes for the dirtiest object in our tests.

"So the mat is obviously extremely covered in bacteria," said Tetro.

That included fecal coliform

He says if you share a mat, you could end up sharing a disease.

When we're in the gym we may be exposing not just ourselves but everything we're wearing everything that we're taking with us to the germs that might be around.

It's reason for caution... but no reason to give up your resolution.

(Copyright © 2013 NBC Universal, All Rights Reserved)

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