When joining a gym the first thing that happens is the induction. Learning to use the exercise equipment safely is important for your health and safety and prevents injury. Something though that doesn’t come in to mind much or is never mentioned are the hidden problems like bacteria covered equipment, stale sweat exercise mats and fungal infected floors. A good gym that recognises that many people use equipment in various states of cleanliness will provide some form of antibacterial sprays and paper towels to wipe down the equipment. If you use an exercise bike or tread mill this will provide a moment of time just to look around to see how often the equipment is cleaned. This is an exercise that may surprise you !
Although few in gyms pick up the Community-Acquired MRSA, it can trigger a lethal type of pneumonia which infects vulnerable individuals causing boils and sores, joint infections and and at worst septicaemia via open cuts and abrasions. Some clubs that issue towels to members have through incomplete or inadequate washing also passed on this bug. So take your own towel is an answer here.
Good precautions are; wipe down the equipment with the sprays provided and if none are available find out why and wear flip flops in the gym around changing areas and most certainly in showers. Another consideration is the anti bacterial Silvatec soap which kills 99.9% bacteria and produces a protective layer over the skin protecting you from harmful bacteria.