The whole purpose of building a garage gym is to make it easier to get in better shape and live a healthier life.

But what if, after all the investment, we told you that working out in your garage can actually do more harm to you than good?

The air quality of your garage gym can negatively impact your workouts as well as your overall well-being.

In this post, we’ll share our thoughts about why your garage gym air quality is important, what factors can worsen it, and what steps you can take to improve it.

So let’s get started!

Garage Gym Air Quality

Why is Your Garage Gym Air Quality Important?

During an intense workout, we tend to breathe deeply, which means we’re taking in more air than normal. And if the quality of air that we’re inhaling is poor, then it can give rise to a whole bunch of health problems ranging from minor issues like eye irritation to more serious conditions such as asthma and even cancer.

Therefore, it is important that you take the necessary steps to improve the air quality in your garage gym and get the best results from your workouts.

Some of the health issues that might arise due to poor air quality in your home gym include:

  • Headaches
  • Allergies
  • Irritation in eyes, nose or skin
  • Sinus Congestion
  • Breathing Problems
  • Asthma
  • Lung Cancer (in extreme cases)

Things That Can Affect The Air Quality of Your Garage Gym

Now that you know how much the air quality of your garage gym matters, let’s take a look at some of the common culprits that can worsen it.

1. Mold & Mildew

Unfortunately, mold is a common occurrence in garage gyms, especially if you live in a hot and humid climate. Not only do those black spots make your home gym look old and ugly, but they can also exacerbate breathing problems and allergies.

Exposure to mold and mildew can cause irritation in the eyes and a runny nose. For people who are asthmatic, breathing air with high levels of mold spores can also trigger an attack.

2. Dust

It is almost inevitable that some dust will enter your garage gym through the cracks and holes in the door and windows. And If you don’t clean your garage gym on a regular basis, all of your equipment will get covered in dust, and even worse, you might inhale it while exercising. Although the human body is well equipped to defend against the dust particles that we might breathe in but if you work out in an overly dirty and dusty garage, it can lead to skin and eye irritation. It can also cause respiratory problems in certain cases.

3. Allergens

If you’re someone who suffers from certain allergies like pollen, pet dander, or dust mites, you can become more prone to these types of irritation when working out in a dirty garage gym. This is due to the fact that these allergens, along with the dust, can easily enter your respiratory system when you’re working out and thus making your garage gym a breeding ground for them.

4. VOCs

Breathing air that is full of Volatile Organic Compounds can also expose you to a lot of health problems over time, including headaches, nausea, and even damage to your internal organs. Using cheap and poor-quality paints in your garage gym is one of the leading causes of high levels of VOCs. You’re constantly inhaling these harmful vapors when working out in your garage gym, and that can wreak havoc on your overall health.

(Not sure which paint to use in your garage gym? Check out our post on the best home gym paints. )

5. Radon

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that has radioactive properties. When radon decays, it releases radioactive particles in the air, and inhaling such particles can lead to health issues as serious as lung cancer. Radon levels are found to be higher in poorly ventilated places such as basements or garages. Radon test kits are easily available in many hardware and home improvement stores, and you can use them to check the radon levels in your home yourself, or you can get professional help for this.

6. Fuel Fumes

If you use a part of your garage to park your car, chances are that the air in there contains some gasoline vapors. Similarly, storing heavy-duty lawnmowers or other fuel-operated equipment in your garage can cause the same problem. This isn’t a huge deal in most cases, but if the concentration of these vapors is high, it can cause eye and throat irritation, nausea, and breathing difficulties.

7. Humidity

Living in a humid climate or not having proper ventilation in your garage gym greatly increases the risk of allergies, irritation, and breathing problems. Therefore, it is important that you take certain measures to ensure that the humidity levels stay low in your home gym.

8. New Horse Stall Mats

Studies have shown that some VOCs are present in the new horse stall mats or some of the low-quality rubber gym flooring. This and the smell of rubber and the oils used in their manufacturing can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory systems. The good news is that there is a simple solution to get rid of this problem, and we’ll discuss that later in this post.

9. Other Chemicals

Storing large quantities of other strong or harmful chemicals, such as pesticides or cleaning supplies in your garage gym can also negatively impact your health over time. This is due to the fact that vapors of these chemicals can directly enter your lungs and cause breathing and lung problems.

9 Tips to Improve Your Garage Gym Air Quality

Before you start packing up all your home gym equipment and putting it up for sale, we want to tell you that are some steps you can take to ensure that your garage gym is a safe space to work out. Follow the below nine tips to improve your home gym’s air quality.

1. Invest in an Air Quality Monitor

An air quality monitor is an amazing device that measures the level of common pollutants in the air, such as VOC, carbon dioxide, particulate matter, and humidity. These devices are usually sensor-based and use laser technology to measure the pollutants’ density in a cubic meter of air. These monitors can be easily paired with smart devices to tell you your garage gym air quality. Having this information will certainly put you in a better position to take steps for air purification.

2. Get an Air Purifier

Speaking of air purification, it is also recommended that you buy a good quality air purifier that will help clean the air and reduce the amount of allergens and pollutants present. There are many air purifiers available on the market. Some of them work well, and unfortunately, others don’t. One of the best air purifiers is the Blue Air 211+.

As with anything else, a good quality air purifier might cost a little more, but it will surely get the job done!

3. Use a Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier is a must-have for your garage gym, especially if you live in a hot and humid climate. The purpose of a dehumidifier is to remove moisture from the air. This not only helps eliminate bad odor from your garage gym, but it also prevents mold growth and rust formation. Be sure to clean your dehumidifier on a regular basis so it can serve its purpose efficiently and effectively.

4. Clean Your Garage Gym Regularly

This goes without saying that you should keep your garage gym clean to protect yourself from many infections and diseases. We know that no one wants to spend any time cleaning their garage gym after an intense workout, but it is important that you set a cleaning schedule for your home workout space and stick to it. A dirty garage gym can easily become home to bacteria, pests, and rodents, so be sure to keep it clean and fresh.

Don’t forget to also check out our post on How to keep your garage gym clean.

5. Use Quality Paint in Your Garage Gym

As mentioned earlier, poor-quality paints contain VOCs, which can cause serious damage to your health over time. The good news is that there are many paint companies that manufacture paints with very low levels of VOCs. You can easily find such paints in your local hardware or home improvement store. Although these paints might cost a little more but this investment is surely worth it for your health and overall well-being.

6. Degass Your Stall Mats

The process of degassing the stall mats helps get rid of the strong smell and VOCs that might be present in the mats. The process is quite simple. All you need to do is to take the stall mats outside and leave them in the sun for several hours. This will help evaporate the VOCs from your mats, leaving you with new and fresh mats for your garage gym.

7. Temperature Control Your Garage

Without the proper heating and cooling system, your garage gym can feel like a sauna in the summer and a freezer in the winter. Additionally, extreme temperatures, especially hot weather, can give rise to many bacteria and diseases. Therefore, be sure to invest in an air conditioner or a fan for your garage gym. Similarly, get a good quality heater for colder months so you can comfortably and safely work out in your garage.

8. Ensure Proper Ventilation

Besides temperature control, you should also ensure good air circulation in your garage gym to improve the air quality. Opening the windows and door of your garage can certainly help in this case and can also help you get rid of radon particles.

This doesn’t mean that you should keep the windows and door open at all times because it will allow dirt and other debris to easily enter your garage (needless to say, some intruders as well). Instead, open them up when you’re working out or leave them open for a couple of hours after you’re done.

9. Don’t Store Unnecessary Items in Your Garage

Although the garage is the best place to store items such as cleaning supplies or gasoline, but you should only do so in small quantities. This will eliminate the possibility of air getting polluted with harmful chemicals.

If you want to store your cleaning supplies and gasoline in big containers, make sure to place them at a safe distance from the garage gym to prevent your exposure to these chemicals.

Is it Better to Turn Your Basement into a Gym?

After reading about all the air quality issues that can arise from working out in your garage, you might be wondering if the basement is a better option as a home gym. On the contrary, basements generally have more of the air quality issues due to a lack of ventilation and temperature control. However, you can use the same tips we outlined above to improve the air quality of your basement gym as well.

But generally, a garage is a much better option for converting into a home gym as it is easier to control the air circulation and temperature there.

Do Commercial Gyms Also Have Air Quality Issues?

Commercial gyms aren’t immune to air quality issues but the chances of their occurrence are lower. This is due to the fact that commercial gyms are already aware of and well-equipped to handle the issue of air quality, and they also have the necessary budget to spend on air conditioning and air quality Improvement. If you already have a gym membership, you can always talk to the gym management about what measure they have in place to maintain the quality of air.

Is it Better to Work Out in the Open Air?

Working out in the open air is surely a good idea but it might not always be possible. For example, you won’t be able to work out under the open sky if the temperature outside is extremely cold or hot. Additionally, your workout window will be limited to certain hours of the day.

Instead, you should invest in temperature control for your garage gym, and you’ll be good to go!

Final Thoughts

Your garage gym air quality matters a lot when it comes to having safe and comfortable workouts.

Be sure to follow the tips in this post to improve the air quality and get the most out of your home workouts.

Feel free to share this info with your fellow home gym enthusiasts as well.

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