Flex Your #Gym Manners!
Trying to lose those extra holiday pounds from all the seasonal holiday parties and events? You are not alone! Health clubs and gyms are busier than ever. If you are new to the gym, or it’s been a while, here are some gym etiquette tips to consider that will make your workout more meaningful and productive.
So what’s the biggest etiquette pet peeve of a typical gym-goer? Leaving the equipment sweaty.
No one wants to grip the handlebars of an elliptical machine only to find it damp and slippery! My best advice is to bring your own personal towel with you and wipe down the machines when you’re finished. Put your towel on a bench where possible. If you don’t have a towel, know where the paper towels are located and take some with you before you begin your routine. Many gyms have spray bottles filled with cleaning solution and encourage members to take the time to clean up after themselves.
I was at a class recently and the instructor was wearing a sweaty handkerchief on his head. My first thought was, “Gross.” But then I realized that he was actually using good manners by wearing the headband. It was a vigorous class and by wearing the handkerchief on his head, all the sweat was absorbed in the fabric, instead of tossed around at the class!
Other gym protocols include:
Wear appropriate workout Attire. Gym clothing that is explicit and exposes the front or the back is unacceptable. Secondly, make sure your attire is freshly laundered ~ nobody wants to small last week’s workout on you.
Put your cell phone away. Respect those around you by leaving your cell phone in the car or your handbag when working out. Some health clubs and gyms have regulations against bringing your phones inside—especially since we have camera phones now! Leave the selfie for your next party instead.
Take turns on the equipment. Set yourself a timer if the gym is extra busy. Be aware of others who are waiting to use the equipment. Don’t linger close to another gym patron hoping they will get the hint and move to another station.
Unless you are staff or a personal trainer, don’t offer advice. Nobody wants to be told they are using equipment incorrectly. If another patron asks you something specific, that’s one thing, but don’t offer unsolicited suggestions.
Avoid staring. Gyms are usually full of people with nice physiques who have taken good care of themselves. Try not to stare ~ focus on yourself and your routine.
Return weights/equipment back where they belong. When you’re through with your weight lifting routine, put the dumbbells (or other equipment) back in their proper place. Not only is it good etiquette but helps staff to keep things more organized.
Skip the perfume. Many people are sensitive to particular fragrances. In close quarters, like the gym, keep it clean and fresh. A little deodorant goes a long way!
Share the water fountain. You need to stay hydrated when working out, but if your water bottle needs refilling, let people who are waiting for a quick sip go ahead of you.
Keep the volume down. Exercising to the sounds of your latest music downloads is fun—and it makes the time go by so much faster—but not everyone wants to hear your latest playlist. Ensure you are using earbuds during your workout.
Be on time. If a class has already started, you’re too late. If you have to leave early, notify your instructor in advance and slip out quietly.
Going to the gym should be an invigorating experience—not an aggravating one. Be courteous of other members at all times to make the gym experience pleasant for you and for fellow gym-goers.