It is now time to gear up for the new year and mentally prepare to make changes to “become a better you.” Some people refer to these changes as New Year's resolutions. Others list these transformations as goals or self-improvements. Research concluded that the top four changes people initiate are diet, healthy eating, finances and exercise.
With exercise among the four listed, what a fitting opportunity to share guidelines on gym etiquette. The following tips were compiled from my own observations and with the help of others.
- Wipe down the equipment when you are finished. Most gyms graciously supply sprays to help minimize the spread of germs.
- Return the weights and dumbbells correctly. This courtesy enables the next person to work efficiently and have easy access to equipment. To not re-rack weights can result in a safety hazard. Also, other gym members may not be as strong as you are and switching out heavy weights might cause injuries.
- Limit your talking while working out. First and foremost, put your cellular phones away. Display a high degree of respect by not insisting that others listen to your personal business during their workout. Even though you may use your quiet voice, be assured that your conversation can be overheard by others. Conversations in the gym should be kept short. Furthermore, for safety purposes, never initiate a conversation with someone engaged in a weight lifting routine.
- Be courteous and do not hog the equipment. When the gym is busy, adhere to the posted time limitations or if no limitations have been established, restrict your cardio workout to 30 minutes. While working on the machines, if you need to take extended breaks (more than 2 minutes) between sets of reps, allow others to share the equipment.
- Try not to grunt or make excessive noises when working out. It can be irritating to others.
- Be timely and do not join an exercise class that is already in session. Also, no reserving spots/equipment for friends. Follow the rule of “first come, first to participate.”
- Never spit in the water fountain. When filling large water bottles, be cognizant of others who are waiting for a quick sip of water. Allow them to move ahead of you.
- Minimize the sound level of your headphones so that those near you will not be able to hear your music.
- Limit what you bring to the gym floor. Gym bags should be stored in lockers, not in the workout areas. This can be hazardous to yourself and other gym members.
- Regard your hygiene and wear deodorant to the gym. If possible, resist the use of excessive colognes or perfumes.
The gym is a place to exercise and get in shape. It is a public space that is shared by many. Courtesy, respect and safety are key considerations to practice while interacting with others when working out.