One more time: Fitness etiquette

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 1, 2007

Q. You have written about fitness etiquette. Would you do it again?

A. YES! With the New Year around the corner, it is great to remind everyone about the “unwritten (now written) etiquette rules” of fitness.

(Remember last week’s column? Maybe you can add some of these practices to set your resolutions for the New Year).

Here we go:

* 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 at the machine.

* After you sweat all over the equipment, CLEAN it up.

* DO NOT stick gum (or boogers) under the benches or on the cardio equipment.

* Re-rack your weights, even when they were on the equipment before you started (if everyone would re-rack, this would not happen). If you use the weights, 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. Street clothes don’t work.

* When you break something, please tell us. We won’t punish you, but the equipment will be fixed sooner.

* When running on the treadmill or any piece of cardio equipment, and people are waiting, please limit your workout time.

Forty-five minutes to one hour is respectable. Past that is selfish.

* Use the safety clip on the treadmill. (Unless you want to fly off the treadmill if you trip!)

* Don’t sing with headphones on. Enough said.

(Keep it for the shower.)

* If someone does not talk back to you, they really are not in the mood to talk.

(Unless they are like me — slightly hard of hearing — so try repeating yourself just one time.)

* 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 center, you are wearing too much.

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

* When you are sick — stay home!

* Keep your cell phone conversations short. Some things should be kept private. Better still, turn off your cellphone to concentrate fully on your workout.

* When you want to see something else on television, ask the people around you for their permission before you change the channel.

* Smile, it makes your world a brighter place!

Happy Holidays!

Ester Hoeben Burgess is associate executive director of the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA. Contact her with health and fitness questions at 704-636-0111 or