Words by Arin Agase
How are those New Year’s resolutions coming along? We hope you’re staying strong! If you’re on the fitness track like so many others, congrats! Starting off a new year with health and optimism is a great thing. Just don’t say that to the regular gym-goers who’ve been down this road many times before (each January to be exact!). The ‘newbies’ are back, and hogging the best machines! As much as we support a healthy lifestyle, the influx of new faces can have us feelin’ a bit more grumpy and agitated. As a new gym member, it’s important to follow the rules and kick those bad gym habits to the curb. We present: Gym Etiquette 101, and class is now in session! Make sure to share your favorite tips below because we absolutely love reading your comments!
Don’t Be Tardy for the Party: Make sure you arrive to fitness classes on time—latecomers provide distraction, and forces others to compromise space when they’ve already settled in. There’s nothing more annoying than having to shuffle around when you’re trying to get your sweat on. If you do arrive late, make sure you grab a spot in the back of the room. (This goes for the people who have to leave early, too!)
Put it Back Where it Belongs: It doesn’t matter if you found it there, if it doesn’t belong, make sure to return it to the proper place. If you’re unsure, ask a team member (better to be safer than sorry). This especially goes for dumbbells: Keep the pairs together, in a numerical sequence. There’s nothing more annoying than shuffling through hundreds of weights to find the right one.
Give People Space: It never fails—even when the gym is full of empty treadmills, someone always picks the one directly next to mine (even typing this boils my blood!). Make sure you also give others proper space in fitness classes like yoga and Zumba, as well as weight training. Does anyone else have feet flying in their face at yoga? It’s not relaxing! I know classes can get crowded, but make sure to leave some space in between.
Get Off Your Phone: Your calls can wait until your workout is over. In fact, working out is a great way to detach for an hour or two. There’s nothing more distracting than listening to someone’s life story when you’re trying to sweat it out. Not to mention the people who FaceTime during workouts! That’s just an all-around ‘no.’
Dress Code: I know you work hard and deserve to flaunt it. However, it can be distracting to people if your ensemble is a bit risqué. Use your best judgement on this, and remember: If you plan on jumping, running or stretching, make sure you’re covered up appropriately. If you wouldn’t wear it in front of grandma, it’s probably best to not wear it out of the house. Just sayin’!
Wipe it Down: When you’re done using equipment, wipe it down. Plain and simple!
Leave the Perfume Behind: The gym and perfume do not mix. If you’re coming from the office, that’s fine! Just make sure to wash it down (delude the smell) prior to working out. The smell of sweat and perfume will be enough to clear a room out! Yuck!
Ask Questions: Always protect yourself from injury by asking someone (even a fellow gym-goer) how to properly use a piece of equipment. This could save you some embarrassment, and more importantly—injury! Don’t be afraid to speak up. It could save you a limb!
Wait Your Turn: Absolutely no cuts allowed! If there’s no formal agenda (name system) with popular equipment or spaces, make sure you’re being fair to everyone involved. Wait your turn!
Have Fun: Remember to have fun! Working out is scientifically proven to decrease anxiety and depression. Keep the habits up, and find a workout buddy to keep you on track.