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Ester Marsh column: Fitness etiquette

It’s the new year and we are excited to have many new members at the YMCA.

There are “unwritten” fitness etiquettes that we all should abide by. I have also found that common sense is not always common. Therefore, I put this fitness etiquettes list together for people to follow wherever they are.

• Wear comfortable clothes. However, make sure they cover all that needs to be covered. Men, make sure that everything stays in your shorts. Women, make sure all your parts are covered — top and bottom. A good sports bra is a must, especially if you are well-endowed.

• Athletic shoes are highly recommended. If you don’t have them, make sure you wear closed shoes. Flip flops and open toes shoes are a no-no. No muddy boots, please.

• Please wear deodorant. Just because you don’t smell yourself does not mean others can’t.

• On the flip side of that, don’t wear excess perfume or aftershave. If we can still smell you after you left, you are wearing too much.

• Please put bags and/or coats out of other people’s way. (The locker room is a great place to put them). Dropping them where you work out is not an option. The benches are to sit on, not to put your stuff on.

• Don’t hog the equipment. Shorter, intense workouts will get you to your goal sooner and everyone will get along. When conversing extensively, get up from the equipment and enjoy your conversation. Update your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. when not sitting on workout equipment.

• Don’t sing along with your music, especially if you are wearing earphones.

• We really can hear everything you are saying when you are on the phone. Do you really want all of us to know your business?

• Don’t put gum or trash in or under anything except for the garbage cans.

• Wash your clothes after each workout. Just because you took them out of the gym bag and they are dry does not mean they are clean. Just drying them will not get the smell out. If you wear workout gloves, check them — they might need to get washed too (or just thrown away).

• Please wipe the machines down after you are done. Using a towel to lie/sit on works too. Nobody wants to sit in your sweat or germs.

• Re-rack your weights when you get done. Your mother doesn’t work here and not everyone can lift the same weights. Please put the plates and dumbbells back in the correct space.

• Not everyone wants to talk while working out. If they don’t talk back, it is a good indicator they are not interested in conversing.

• Don’t yell while lifting. It scares people and makes them think someone got hurt. If you use that intensity of the scream internally, you will be able to lift a lot more.

• When on a treadmill and you need to use the bathroom or get a drink, please shut the treadmill down. It will run a couple of minutes without someone on it — enough time for someone to step on and fall off because they did not see the moving belt. There are markers on the belt but people don’t expect a treadmill to be running.

It is all about respect isn’t it? Not only respect for all people but also respect for equipment and environments. Treating people and things how you want to be treated works most of the time!

Ester Marsh Health & Fitness Director JF Hurley Family YMCA

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