Friday, April 6, 2012
Where we live, early spring already feels like mid-summer. There’s something energizing in the air that makes you want to exercise.
We talked to a lot of people who are intimately acquainted with gyms—both customers and instructors—and gathered a list of tips on how to best behave. In a gym, you’re sharing limited space with a lot of busy people, surrounded by fast-paced activity. To make the experience pleasant for everyone, you really need to consider just a few things: Be clean, be considerate, be aware, and share.
• Everyone sweats at the gym. It's inevitable! Just wipe down the equipment.
• A lot of hands and bodies will come in contact with those machines, so pay attention to personal hygiene—and if you’re ill, stay home and rest.
• Stash your personal belongings so they’re out of the way, and keep track of them—don't leave anything behind on a machine.
• Re-rack those weights!
• Dress appropriately, which at the least means making sure you’re covered where it counts.
• Monitor your volume. That means refraining from singing aloud to your iPod, carrying on lengthy and loud phone calls, and, if you’re taking a class, talking over the instructor. (Keep the TVs turned down, too!)
Be aware of your surroundings.
• Respect personal space by not crowding others.
• Keep your iPod volume down low enough to hear overhead speaker announcements or the requests of others wanting to work in or asking you (politely, of course!) to move over.
• Remember that others are focused and working hard, and now is not the time to spontaneously overshare personal information.
• Don’t monopolize the equipment.
• If you aren’t using the machine, don’t use it as a place to rest, text, or talk on your phone.
• If someone is waiting for you to finish your sets, offer to let them work-in (take turns doing sets). And if you’re waiting to use a machine, try not to stare the other person down—it’s acceptable to simply ask, “May I work in?”
None of this is to suggest that you should work out as a horde of silent, self-cleaning robots. The gym is primarily a place to get fit and healthy, but it can also be as a social outlet. There’s nothing wrong with working out with friends, getting chatty, making a date of it—just remember you aren’t the only people in the building. If you really need a cleansing talk with a best friend while working out, consider leaving the gym for a nature hike or neighborhood walk.
Now, go work out!