Weekly Wellness

Weekly Wellness

by Laura Dillavou

Whether you are working out in Cowles or at a fitness club,there are important rules of etiquette to remember at the gym. Noone wants to be a ‘gym jerk’, or worse, to be victimized by one. Byfollowing simple, common sense rules, your experience at anyfitness center can be positive.

In a world where virtually everyone has a cell phone, you canexpect phones to be at the gym, too. However, keeping one in yourbag to check periodically and actually having it on your machine orclipped to your waist are two different things.

Generally, people don’t appreciate another talking loudly whileon the machines. Not only does this ruin the focus of some lifters,but at no time, whether in the gym or elsewhere, does anyone likehearing one side of a conversation, especially one spoken at a loudvolume in order to compensate for music, machine noise, and weightclanging.

If it is absolutely necessary for you to have your cell phoneout and about in the gym, keep the ringer off or on a low setting.When a call comes, have the common courtesy to step outside, intothe locker room, or just politely tell the caller you will callhim/her back.

While not everyone wears a matching workout ensemble to the gym,it is important to wear clothes that are clean and smell of laundrydetergent, not sweat. When you work out, it is inevitable that youwill sweat and emit odors. This is a natural process and everyoneexpects it.

However, wearing the same sweaty, pit-stained, dirty shirt dayin and day out not only offends others around you, but it is justplain gross.

It is also important to remember to shower after going to thegym. In most cases, slapping on deodorant will not cut the powerfulsmell of sweat. Sprays, perfumes and colognes only mask the stink,creating a strange and often overbearing smell that no one likes.To save face, and friends, cut our workout short by 15 minutes toshower and return your body to a clean state.

We all know that cardio is an important aspect of any workoutroutine. However, using one machine for an excess amount of time isrude to your fellow gym mates. In Cowles, for example there aresigns reminding people of a 30-minute time limit. In large fitnessclubs, where there are more machines, and a wider variety of themare available, that time limit may be longer.

If getting in a long elliptical session is important to you,then do the 30 minutes, take a break to lift or stretch, and if themachine is again available, go back to it.

When working out during peak times, like after classes in theafternoon, or midmorning, also keep in mind that many people may bewaiting to use the machines. If you are waiting, it is not out ofline to ask the exerciser if you may have the machine next. On thesame note, be ready to go when he/she is finished.

When finished, be sure that the machine is clean for the nextperson. This is a sign of courtesy and keeps germs at bay.

Keep these simple reminders of gym etiquette in mind, andhopefully, you will be rewarded with the same behavior. These areall quick and painless things that will make the gym a better placefor you and those around.

For more rules, check out http://www.msn.com/fitness.