Ester Marsh column: Keep in mind the 'unwritten etiquette' of fitness

  • Posted: Monday, December 23, 2013 1:04 a.m.

To all readers, Merry Christmas! The YMCA will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and we hope you are having a wonderful time with friends and family.

With the new year around the corner, it is great to remind everyone about the “unwritten etiquettes” of fitness:


• When you are working out on a machine, and you are done, get off the equipment. When you are resting between sets, don't rest longer than 30 seconds.

• After you sweat all over the equipment, please clean it up.

• Do not stick gum (or boogers) under the benches or on the cardio equipment.

• Re-rack your weights. Even if they were on the equipment before you started (if everyone would re-rack this would not happen), use it. They are yours to re-rack.

• Stop screaming when you lift weights. It not only scares people, you are wasting your energy.

• Use deodorant. Because you think you don't smell does not mean that the rest of us agree.

• Men, watch your shorts. Women, men are watching your shorts.

• Work out in workout clothes if possible or comfortable street clothes (remember last weeks column?

• When you break something, please tell someone. We won't punish you, and it will be fixed sooner.

• When running on the treadmill, or any piece of cardio equipment and people are waiting, limit your workout time — 45 minutes to 1 hour is respectable. Anything past that is selfish.

• Use the safety clip on the treadmill. This way, the treadmill will shut off when you trip and not shoot you across the room.

• If you are on the treadmill and you need to get your water bottle or go to bathroom, please turn the treadmill off. It will typically shut off after a certain time, but in that short time someone unexpected can get on it and get injured.

• Check the rules of children working out in the fitness center. It is for their and other member's safety/health.

• Don't sing with headphones on. Enough said.

• Take responsibility for your own electronics. If you leave your phone or iPod lying around, you are taking a huge chance of it not being there when you get back.

• If someone does not speak back to you, they typically are not in the mood to talk.

• A workout buddy is wonderful. A troop (more than 3) is a nightmare.

• Watch how much cologne/perfume you wear. If they can still smell you in the hall and you are in the fitness, you are wearing too much.

• Change, or wash, your clothes each time you come. When you hang dry them they still smell.

• Buy new workout gloves when they start smelling like a wet dog. We smell that, too.

• When you are sick, stay home

• Keep your cell phone conversations short. Some things should be kept private.

And remember to smile! It makes yours and our world a better place.

Ester H Marsh ACSM Cpt, Associate Executive and Health and Fitness Director JF Hurley Family YMCA

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