Now I must preface this post as I'm not known for taming my tongue. I tell it how I see it and some of you may not like it, but you must change your attitude! Yeah I'm talking to you. You see, going to the gym has been a little frustrating lately - it's packed, chaotic, and hectic. I know; I hear you; I see it every year! My normal routine is a little more challenging as my overlooked corner of the weight room is occupied whenever I'm there, and it seems that every hour is peak hour. I know that January is typically a crowded time for the gym as people are making good on New Year's resolutions, and they just received the best membership deals of the year. Now quit your whining and complaining! People are making their health a priority; here's hoping it keeps up all year long!
You see as a fitness professional, I am encouraged that there is motivation to commit to a healthy lifestyle and people are making the effort for real change. It may be seen as an inconvenience at this time and it may not last, but as the most obese nation in the world and with our nation having the most astronomical health care costs, we must change our attitude and continue to positively encourage those people that want to make their changes, even if it's in masses starting in January.
Now put your whining aside and let's talk a little gym etiquette. If you are a gym newbie, the gym rats can get annoyed with your lack of gym etiquette so here are a few tips to help keep all happy.
- Always clean equipment properly- Your gym has disinfectant spray bottles and towels dispersed throughout the gym (if they don't, you best talk to someone). Please spray down your equipment before and after use. No one wants to get sick or bask in your leftover sweaty mess.
- Please honor the cardio machine time limits- If the gym asks that there be a 20-30 min time limit on the cardio equipment, please honor that. If that is not enough time for your cardio workout, then go sprint some stairs or grab a jump rope to keep your heart pumping. You don't need fancy equipment for elevated heart rates.
- "Work in"/share benches or free weights- If you notice the gym is busy and others are waiting for benches and weights, please "work in" or share your equipment after each set. You can go do another exercise while you share the bench or weights. Common courtesy here folks!
Gym rats- there are a few things that you can change as well this time of year to help ease your frustration and help with the attitude adjustment.
- Go to the gym at non-peak hours- Yeah your routine may not be regular, but nothing is regular much this time of year. It's fitness chaos so get up a little earlier, workout at lunch, or late night. Check with your gym to see when non-peak hours tend to be.
- Work out at home to a fitness DVD, on-demand video, or new activity that you haven't tried out before- You won't have to fight the rush, parking, and crowded machines.
- Create bodyweight/minimal equipment workouts that you can do outdoors or at home- You don't need a gym to get a workout. Bootcamps at the park are a great example of a creative way to get a killer workout. Use your body as your machine!
I hope this sparks some new ideas and new ways of thinking this time of year. I'm sick of hearing the whining and really we need to do more encouraging and less bitching of others. You may have been this "annoying" person at one time... Remember, healthy bodies led to healthy minds so let's encourage all for healthy lifestyles!
Best in health-