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Fit For Life: The Three Commandments of Gym Etiquette

Saturday, February 20, 2016

 

Yes, gym etiquette is a real concern – and it’s lacking in most gyms. I know you go to the gym to sweat and get down and dirty, but there are a few things we can do to make it a nicer, and safer, experience for all. I’m not saying you need to wear white gloves and a bow tie to work out, but some simple courtesy goes a long way, especially during peak hours, when things get crowded.

Unplug

One of my biggest issues in the gym is the cell phone. I understand that phones do many things, but when you are at the gym they should play music only. Really folks, let's disconnect for an hour and focus on the task at hand....exercise and intensity. If you are that important that you can't turn off your phone or email for one hour, maybe you should reschedule your workout times to a time when you can turn off, because answering the phone zaps intensity, and without intensity your results will be non existent. Its also bothersome waiting to use an area or a machine when the person is sitting around texting and holding up progress, and it is most annoying trying to focus when someone ten feet away is arguing on the phone. Remember that there are lots of heavy equipment and moving parts, and a gym can be dangerous, so let's be considerate of others and for safety reasons, leave your phone in the locker.

Get to class on time

When I’m doing group instruction, I must explain the importance of punctuality, especially in cycle class or class that requires equipment and weights. First, you compromise on your warm-up. This is an important part of the workout. Besides that, it is dangerous to start adjusting your bike or set up your area, when others have started moving. Finally you have the distraction factor. It isn't the end of the world to me if you are late, but what of the others who made the effort and arrived on time? It can be annoying and distracting.

Hygiene

Now let's talk a little about hygiene. Being the cold and flu season, this area should not be overlooked. I have seen many guys leaving the men's room without washing their hands. Seriously? I encourage my clients to wash their hands after every workout. Wiping down the equipment is always a welcome courtesy. Trust me, nobody wants to jump on a bench with a puddle of sweat, or a wet circle from ones head dripping off of it. Take 30 seconds and give it a quick spray, the next person will greatly appreciate it. And while many employees at the gym are mothers, they’re not yours, and even if they were, they’d tell you - let's pick up our toys when we are finished. A lot of people feel that paying for a membership entitles them to a personal butler. If you use a piece of equipment, it is easier for the next person to find when it gets put away or re-racked to its rightful place, so please put your stuff away.

Finally, if you are sick - stay away. You might think you are being rough, tough and cool working out sick, but you are not only taxing your immune system even further, making recovery time longer, but you are spreading germs to every one in the building. When it's cold outside, and you have a heated box full of sweaty people, you get an incubator for germs, so please think of your fellow gym goers, and keep your germs to yourself. Walk outside if you absolutely need to workout. Germs won't spread as quickly in the cold, and YOU will feel better. Or just rest and recover.

We go to the gym to improve our bodies and de stress from the days’ events. We are not looking for more stress or to get sick. Going to the gym should be a pleasurable experience for all, so if everyone does their part and follows a few rules of etiquette we can all have an enjoyable workout, stay safe, and stay healthy.

Matt Espeut has worked as a personal trainer for more than 20 years with clients ranging in age from 14 to 86. His focus is on overall health, strength, and functional conditioning. Holistic health and nutrition is the cornerstone of all his programs. 

 

Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

Prev Next

MapMyRun

MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

Prev Next

MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit

JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

Prev Next

Strava

Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

Prev Next

YogaStudio

YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

Prev Next

SimplyBeing

SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

Prev Next

Fooducate

Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android

 
 

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