Ester Marsh: Fitness etiquette

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 31, 2022

Happy New Year! And I am so excited that we are getting close to “normal” (whatever that is, right?). More people are coming back and we are very excited to have many new and returning members. But especially since COVID many people have forgotten the “unwritten” fitness etiquettes that we all should abide by.

I also have found out that “common sense” is not very common at all!

Therefore I put this fitness etiquettes list together for people to follow wherever you are:

• Wear comfortable clothes. However, make sure they cover all that needs to be covered. Men, make sure that all things stay in your shorts. Women, make sure all your parts are covered. 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 or open-toes shoes are a no-no. That includes no muddy boots please!

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

• Flip side of that, don’t wear excess perfume or after shave. 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 stuff where you work out is not an option. Even 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 equipment and enjoy your conversation. Update your social media when not sitting on workout equipment.

• Don’t sing along with your music please, especially with earphones in — enough said.

• Use headphones when listening to your own music!

• 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? And if the answer is yes, we don’t want to hear about your business.

• Don’t put gum or boogers 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 dried does not mean they are clean and “just dry” 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. This was expected before COVID too. Using a towel to lie/sit on works too, still clean the handles and everything else you touched. Nobody wants to sit in your sweat or germs.

• Re-rack your weights when you get done. Your mother still doesn’t work here and not everyone can lift the same weights. And please put the plates back in the proper place. Before you go for your next activity, the weights need to be cleaned and re-racked, even if you are planning to come back.

*Do not drop your dumbbells or barbell. It not only tears up the equipment, we are not impressed!

• 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.

• And do not give unwanted advice, especially if you do not have the credentials.

• Don’t scream while lifting. First of all, it scares us thinking someone got hurt and 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 of water, please shut treadmill down. The treadmill will run a couple of minutes without someone on it, enough time for someone to step on and fall off not seeing 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? It’s one of our core values. Not only respect for all people but also respect for equipment and environments. Be kind, be healthy, laugh a lot and take responsibility for your own actions.

Happy 2023!

Ester Marsh is health and fitness director J.F. Hurley Family YMCA.