January always means one thing for indoor exercisers: Hoards of New Year’s resolution-ers will join gyms. If you’re new to the fitness center scene, take note that in addition to navigating your way through the treadmills and recumbent bicycles, there are some tacit rules of etiquette that health club members should try to follow, regardless of the season.
Clean up After Yourself: The same principles you learned in kindergarten apply to the inside of your fitness center. While most health clubs employ a housekeeping staff to sanitize machines, locker rooms and common areas, it makes their job easier when club members practice good manners post-workout.
Sanitize: Remember to wipe off machines when you’re done using them so that the person after you doesn’t have to run on a sweat-stained treadmill. In the locker room, remember to place your towel in the proper receptacles when you’re finished – and not just laying on the floor.
Indoor Voices: Loud talkers during a spinning class can be disruptive to instructors and other classmates. While a step or dance classes can be a great place to meet other fitness-minded friends, limit conversations during workouts and take to post-class coffee to support and encourage your friends’ fitness goals.
No-Phone Zone: Most gyms have policies about cell phone use as more and more people spend time chained to their smart phones. Try to refrain from talking on your cell phone at the gym, except in designated areas. If you must email or send text messages in between reps, keep your ringer on silent. Better yet, use the gym as an hour to unplug and enjoy your workout – interruption free.