Londoners Are The Worst Culprits For Keeping Gym Kits In Their Bags For Days

As if you needed another reason to skip that session

MOST POPULAR

Hands up if you're guilty of scrimping on laundry and recycling your gym gear for two, three, or maybe even four sessions?

You're only in it for an hour or two, right?

And you don't want the fabric to wear out, right?

You might have thought it was your dirty little secret, but new research by Virgin Active has shown that you're not the only one doing it: in London, we're guilty of carrying our gym kits around with us up to 20 miles per day – and three times a week, it comes back home with us unused.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

But, there are a whole load of reasons why storing your damp kit – or even airing it out to 'dry', and re-wearing it the next day – is bad for your health.

If GCSE Biology taught us anything, it's that bacteria loves warm, damp spaces, like a gym bag or the back of a locker.

Chucking your wet kit into your bag, or storing it in your rented locker until tomorrow, can create a prime breeding ground for bugs, and even air-drying it before the next use is likely to result in smells you can't get out.

Technical fabrics, like the sweat-wicking ones, might promise to keep you fresh during your workout, but odour causing bacteria (called micrococci, if we're going to get legit) grow better on synthetic material like polyester, according to the Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

And what if you thought you could avoid the whole 'breeding ground' scenario by wearing your kit home on the tube?

Or even the most cardinal of etiquette sins – wearing it back to work after a lunch time session?

News flash: we've got warm, damp spaces on our post-gym bodies, too. Staying in warm, tight, sweat-soaked gym clothes for an hour or two after your work-out could cause just as many problems.

Cysts, yeast infections and Bacteria Vaginosis can all be aggravated by wearing your gym gear longer than necessary, and too-tight sports bras can even result in welts and sores, according to Allison Hill, M.D., an ob-gyn at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, who was interviewed by Shape magazine on the subject.

Keeping on top of your gym routine is hard enough, but looks like keeping your kit fresh and health-risk free is a whole other ball game.

Which might explain why we're also, incidentally, the worst culprits for carrying around our gym gear – used or unused – with the intention of hitting the gym but not quite making it.

Seems like as good an excuse as any to head straight home after work.

More from ELLE UK: