Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Q. Can you please do a column on fitness etiquette? With all the new members at the YMCA, it is great to have a refresher.
A. It’s that time of year again. Lots of new members are committing to a healthier lifestyle. I applaud the newcomers!
There are some unwritten rules we like to follow.
Here we go:
n Wear sneakers or closed shoes and comfortable clothes. Workout clothes are recommended. Remember if you wear street clothes óyou do have to go back to work (or back out in public).
n Do NOT wear plastic suits! All it does is overheat your body and all you lose is sweat!
n Women, wear a supportive bra (especially when running). If you are like me, a sports bra will do!
n Men, watch your shorts! Women, men are watching your shorts!
n Wear deodorant. Just because you don’t smell yourself does not mean we don’t.
n Watch how much cologne/perfume you wear. If we can still smell you after you have left ó you are wearing too much.
(Please note that lots of people are highly allergic to these heavy scents.)
n After you are done with a machine, please clean up after yourself ó especially when you sweat all over the machines. Would you want to sit on or touch someone else’s sweat and germs? Especially with MRSA out there, hygiene and cleanliness is a necessity.
n Don’t hog a machine. If you are doing more sets, let other members work in.
n Please don’t stick your gum under the benches. Trashcans are everywhere.
n During peak times, 30 minutes on a piece of cardio equipment is expected, 45 minutes is pushing it ó one hour or more is being selfish.
Please be aware if someone is waiting for a machine.
n A workout partner is wonderful. Two is OK, but more than three is a nightmare. If you work out with four or more people, you’re tying up a piece of equipment for too long.
n Please re-rack all your weights (quietly, please). After you have used them they are your responsibility to put away.
n Try not to use your cell phone in the workout area. We all can hear your conversation and we’d rather not.
n Leave your muddy shoes in the locker room.
n When something breaks whether it is your fault or not, please tell a staff member. It’ll get fixed sooner.
(I promise you won’t get punished.)
n Don’t expect that everyone wants to have a conversation. When they wear head phones, it is pretty much a given they are not here to talk.(Your workout suffers if you can hold a continued conversation.)
n Please don’t scream when you work out. Put all that energy into actually lifting your weight. And ó it scares people.
n But most of all ó stay safe, set reachable goals and enjoy yourselves!
Ester Hoeben is associate executive director of the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA. Contact her with health and fitness questions at 704-636-0111 or ehoeben@rowan