Avoid Making a Fitness Faux Pas With These 5 Tips for Gym Etiquette
Food & Health  

Whether you are new to the gym, or not, enjoy your workout more by following a few simple rules of the road.


This time of year can be frustrating for regular gym goers and newbies. The holidays are over, and everyone wants to get healthier in the new year. Fantastic! The more the merrier. However, the crowds can get a little overwhelming when you aren't sure what to do, where to go, or even how to behave. Whether you're at the gym daily or haven't been there for a while, everyone should follow a few simple rules of etiquette so that workouts run smoothly.
Look at What's Posted
The majority of gyms and fitness centers have specific rules for their members. You may have been handed information when you signed up or were directed to a website where you can view the rules. Do it! It's important to know what is expected of you and your fellow members as you exercise. These often include hours of operation, acceptable attire, phone usage, etc. Some places can get very specific, so make sure you know and understand your club rules.
What to Wear
In a gym, you're probably going to see skimpy clothing to full coverage sweats—and everything in between. Some people like to cover up, and others want as little as possible on so it doesn't get in their way. You need to wear what is comfortable for you. Most places just require appropriate clothing: nothing falling out that should stay covered in public. Wear clothing designed for exercise. It should move and stretch with you so that you are comfortable while exercising. Also, wear proper footwear. Sandals and bare feet are not appropriate in most facilities. Athletic shoes support and protect your feet and body while you work out. So, lace them up tight!
Use a Towel
Some places provide small towels for use during your workout—others don't. So, always have a towel in your workout bag. You're going to sweat, and so are others. That's what you're there for, but you don't want to touch or lay in someone else's sweat any more than they want to touch yours. Wipe up after yourself, and lay towels down on benches in order to protect yourself and others. Most gyms also provide paper towels and cleaner to wipe down equipment after use. Do this on cardio equipment every time, and on weight machines, if you tend to sweat a lot. It's just polite.
Don't Spread Out
Many people carry their bag with them rather than leaving it in a locker. They may use equipment they brought from home, or just don't trust the lockers. If you like to keep your stuff with you, fine. But, keep it together and out of the way of other people. Pull out only what you need, and put it away when you're done. Don't leave your bag on one bench or piece of equipment while you use another. That's rude. Make sure straps are tucked in so nobody trips and put the bag under the bench or against a wall when possible.
Remember to Share
We all learned to share at a very young age—some are good at it, others not so much. But, in the gym, you have to share. Keep your rest periods no longer than necessary if you're doing multiple sets. Stay aware of your surroundings and allow someone to work in, or alternate with you so that you can both get your workouts done. Don't be afraid to ask to work in with someone. If they say no for some reason, just move on. You can always come back to that exercise. If you're using dumbbells, bands or any other equipment that can be moved easily, put it back in the proper spot when you're finished. Even if you didn't find it there in the first place.
These are just a few things that you can do to make your workout more enjoyable for everyone. Try not to get frustrated even when you can't find the dumbbells you want, or use a treadmill. Everyone is there for the same thing—to get healthy and fit in 2018!



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