PHOTO: See those hand weights in the rack? That’s where they belong when you are done using them. | JOE CYGANOWSKI~SUN-TIMES MEDIA FILE PHOTO
Alright, your new year’s resolution is to get your body moving more, so you’ve joined a gym. And you’ve been going! That’s what you want to do!
What you don’t wan to do is turn out to be the newbie who has everyone else grumbling. Just like anywhere else, there are rules of etiquette to follow at the gym. Here are a few to keep in mind:
Enough with the selfies! Yeah, you may want to keep track of the changes that are happening to your body. But don’t overdo it. You’re there to work out, not smile for the camera. And for goodness sake, leave the selfie stick at home.
Put your phone away. The rest of us don’t want to hear your conversation with your BFF. (Or worse, an argument between you and your mate.) Keep your phone on silent or vibrate if there’s a call coming you can’t miss. And when that call comes, go out in the hall to take it.
Don’t hog the machines. Many gym have time limits on the treadmills, ellipticals, etc., especially during crunch times. Nothing gets you in trouble more with the other gym rats than ignoring those limits.
Wait your turn. If you’re doing the bike, then plan to hit the treadmill, don’t put your gym bag on the machine to “save” it. There are no dibs at the gym.
Be clean. Everyone (well, almost everyone) sweats. So that means everyone — including you — should clean the machines off after using them. Who wants to grab a handle and feel someone else’s sweat? Many gyms provide paper towels and cleanser; use them or bring your own fresh towel. (Spray that cleanser on the paper towel NOT the machines. Liquid can gunk them up and leave them inoperable.) And don’t “clean” them with the same towel you’ve been carting to the gym for weeks at a time. That’s nasty.
Speaking of cleanliness:
Be clean, part 2. Like we said, everyone sweats. That’s why it’s offensive to wear the same unwashed clothes day in and day out at the gym. You’ll reek once you start sweating again, and no one likes that. Get a few affordable outfits and wear a clean one every time. Oh, and please, don’t forget the deodorant.
Neatness counts. That jump rope you just used — you didn’t find it on the gym floor, did you? No, it was on a hook. Put the rope — and any other small equipment — back in the proper place.
Bring your outside behavior. Maybe at home you line all your cosmetics out on the counter while you get primp. Or leave your towel on the floor. Well, you’re not at home. Don’t take up too much space or act like a slob in the locker room.