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Ester Marsh column: Fitness etiquette, part two

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day. If you read this early enough, the Hurley YMCA is providing the space for the wonderful MLK breakfast. It’s only $10 and they always provide a wonderful program with a great breakfast. It starts at 7 a.m. and goes to about 9 a.m. We will have no classes until 10 a.m. this morning.

Now, on to part two of fitness etiquettes.

I had some great feedback from last week’s column on fitness etiquette, and I felt there is absolutely a need for a part two. This one is for the bathrooms, locker rooms and group exercise classes.

Bathroom and locker room etiquette:

• Bathroom is not a changing area.

• Please flush after using the bathroom.

• Wash your hands but please turn off faucets. Too many times, I walk in to find a faucet running on high with no one in sight. Our water bill goes up just like yours when using the water.

• Put trash in trash can (crazy this has to be spelled out, right?).

• If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie.

• We can still hear everything you say on the phone behind that closed door.

• Do not flush any foreign objects in the toilet.

Locker room etiquette:

• Lock all of your valuable belongings. Just because you hide them does not mean they can’t be found.

• In sauna and/or steam room, have towel wrapped or bathing suit on.

• Do not put on honey or any sticky lotions in sauna or steam room. Come sit there after you leave or have to clean up that mess and you’ll understand why.

• There will be some nudity in the locker room when you are changing your clothes. However, prancing around nude is not something we want to see. And when you finally do sit down, please sit on your towel.

• Do not take pictures or video, even when it’s a selfie in the locker room or bathroom. Privacy is a must in these areas.

• Please do not shave in the steam room. I know it is nice and moist but definitely the wrong place to do it.

• Just because we have great showers and you are not paying the water bill does not mean your shower should be endless (not to mention people waiting in line to get in after you).

Let’s throw in some group exercise class etiquette:

• No, “your” spot is not reserved just for you.

• Taking a class means someone is instructing you. Talking throughout the class and not paying attention to the instructor is really disrespectful, not only to the instructor but also to the other class participants.

• Don’t go in the room when the other class is still in session or is trying to clean up to get out.

• When you run in late or have to leave early, please do so with the least amount of disruption.

• Please turn off your cellphone. If you need it on, please pick it up immediately and walk out the room to talk.

• Please clean your mat after you use it. We have yoga mats but we recommend bringing your own. If you continue to take the classes, you will need one. They are porous, so it’s hard to get them 100 percent clean.

• Take a class within your fitness abilities. Going too intense will increase your risk of injury. And not being able to keep up can put you and other class participants in danger of getting hurt. Class descriptions are available. Most classes give many options so make sure you take the option that works for you.

I know I just touched on the tip of the iceberg again this week. But keep this in mind: Be respectful, honest, responsible and caring in all the things you do and people you meet and everything will be alright.

Ester Marsh, health & fitness director JF Hurley Family YMCA, ACSM Certified personal trainer.

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