The New Year brings a significant rise in the number of gym-goers. Whether working out for the first time or a regular, decorum and etiquette matter. Some do’s and dont’s:
Do put things back in their place. We all want to feel safe and this includes the gym, so remember to put equipment back where it belongs after use. Tripping over dumbbells left on the floor is no fun, and neither is trying to remove heavy weight plates from a bar in order to exercise. The rule of thumb is to be considerate and ‘put away your toys’ after use.
Don’t monopolize equipment. If your routine involves taking long rest breaks or performing multiple sets on the same machine, keep in mind that others may be waiting. If this is the case, ask if the person would like to ‘work in’ with you so that each person can take his or her turn.
Do keep noise to a minimum. Noise is both distracting and annoying. Some examples are excessive grunting and groaning while working out, banging/clanging or dropping weights on the floor, or talking loudly on a cell phone.
Don’t be a chatterbox. The gym can be an important outlet for socializing, however, just because we may have time for chit-chat doesn’t necessarily mean that others do. Many folks need to make the most of the time they have to exercise and cannot participate in long conversations, so be thoughtful.
Don’t misuse the locker room. The locker room is for storing belongings while you work out, changing clothes, showering, and using the restroom. Try to save the more time-consuming grooming rituals such as shaving, toenail clipping, etc. for home.
Do dress properly. Avoid wearing excessive jewelry and perfume, inappropriate or dirty clothing, or street shoes. Working out may require bending over, stretching, lifting, etc., so wear clothes that allow for freedom of movement with discretion.
Do wipe down equipment! This is especially important given the challenge of flu and cold season, and COVID viruses. In addition we all sweat, even more so when working out. Most health clubs provide towels and disinfectants for the purpose of keeping things clean. And please, don’t work out if you are sick. It is likely that you will be around dozens of people and touching many pieces of equipment, doors, stair railings, etc. and you don’t want to put others at risk.
Do treat others as you want to be treated. We share the gym equally, so if your time is up on the treadmill and someone has reminded you of it, don’t make a fuss. If you see that someone is using the fan, don’t turn it off without asking. If you are on the track, use the designated lanes for walking or running.
It’s simple. Awareness and consideration for others helps to ensure a more pleasant workout experience for everyone, so do what you can to contribute.