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Fitness Center Etiquette

OK people...let’s get down to business.  I thought that since we’re all motivated to work out 7 days a week for 2 hours a day, being the first of the year and all, we might want to review a few etiquette skills for the gym.  To those of you who have already cut back to once per week for 20 minutes, I probably wouldn’t worry about etiquette but rather commitment.  Regardless, let’s review for the fun of it.

Please refrain from using your cellphone in the gym.  Here’s a couple of reasons: #1, IT’S DISTRACTING!  When others are trying to focus on running, weightlifting, watching aerobic steps or trying to breath in yoga class, they don’t want to hear a conversation about your neighbors’ dog or your husband’s socks or anything.  #2  Because since most cell phones now have cameras on them, it’s just simply not appropriate; not in the gym and most definitely not in the locker room, period.

Let’s talk hygiene.  Please don’t go to the gym if you have a bad cough or sneezing situation.  Every single person working out around someone coughing and sneezing is thinking, “GERMS” and it grosses us out.  Now let’s talk sweat.  Realizing that most of us sweat and that’s the whole idea of working out,  let’s make sure however, that our smell doesn’t go beyond our body.  Meaning, if you come to the gym already smelling bad, please shower before you go into the workout areas and cause discomfort to everyone around you.  Just try to be mindful of your smell (use deodorant).  Lastly, always wipe down your machine, especially if you were sweating while using it.  This helps all of us cut down on germs.

Please dress appropriately.  What does this mean?  It means do not wear loose, wide-leg shorts that show all your “business.”  We don’t need to see that.  Women, be aware of your “business” too.  Going to the gym is not about what you can show, but about what you can accomplish.

When you’re in the locker room, can we say “TOWEL” people???  OK, so I realize that men are sometimes more comfortable with their bodies than women, but it is not polite to assume that everyone in your company is comfortable with seeing all your birthmarks.  Remember, proper etiquette is about helping those around you to feel valued and comfortable.  This is kind of hard when someone in the locker room comes up to you to speak about carpooling or the latest stock market numbers in their birthday suit.  I can’t concentrate in these conditions people.  I beg of you to put a towel on!!!!!

Please no urinating in the gym shower.  Need I say more?  I recommend flip flops for the rest of us.

Let’s speak for a moment about groaning and grunting. :)  All I want to say is that it’s OK to do, unless it sounds like the scene of a bedroom instead of the gym.  Let’s keep these noises under control.

Please no spitting in the water fountain.  YUCK!!!  I won’t describe what I saw once in a water fountain.  I’m not sure whoever deposited it there meant for it to come out when they spit, but.....IT DID.

It’s not polite to correct someone’s form or style of exercise unless they ask for your help.

If you decide to work out with your significant other, please remember to keep your eyes on your weights.....or your significant other.

Please try not to “hog” a machine, especially in busy times.  If you are determined to stay on the stair climber for 1 hour, then consider going to the gym during the “off time.”  Usually, 30 minutes is the maximum time to use a machine when others are waiting.

Please put away workout equipment after use.  This is considerate to others who will come behind you making it easy for them to find the equipment.

OK, I’ll stop.  I think that’s enough to help all of our gym experiences to go more smoothly.  If we’re blessed enough to be able to work out at a gym, let’s be considerate, kind and aware as we enjoy this privilege.  2012, here we come!

Have a great month,
Monica Irvine
a.k.a. Mary Manners