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Brandy Proctor column: Be mindful of basic fitness center etiquette

3:44 PM, May 2, 2013  |  Comments
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In every environment there are certain social norms and etiquette that should be practiced. When someone goes against the norm or acts inappropriately, it can cause others to feel frustration, hostility or resentment.

In a fitness center environment, many of the basic etiquette standards are clearly posted throughout the facility. But, there are a few unwritten rules as well. Being mindful of a few basic fitness center etiquette pet peeves can make everyone's experience at your gym more enjoyable.

? While increasing the amount of weight you lift is a recommended practice as you get stronger, it is not appropriate to drop your weights, making them slam loudly onto the floor or platform. When lifting, it's recommended to slowly lower your weights to get the best efficiency from your workout.

? Sweating is a byproduct of exercise, but it's important to wear deodorant as respect to your fellow fitness enthusiasts. On the flip side, wearing too much cologne or perform to the gym can cause others to experience asthmatic or allergy symptoms.

? If you're someone who sweats excessively, one of the most aggravating things you can do is walk away from a piece of equipment without wiping it down. Find the nearest cleaning rag or wipe and disinfect the machine before moving on.

? Many of us feel the need to stay connected to the world through technology, but talking on your cellphone in the gym is not recommended. If you must take a call, finding a quiet hallway or stepping outside is preferred.

? Many fitness facilities have staff readily on hand to tidy up the place throughout the day. However, taking ownership and picking up after yourself can go a long way for a facility's overall cleanliness.

? Imagine your grandma walking up to the leg press machine and finding a 45-pound weight plate on both sides; would she be able to remove the weights or lift that amount? This analogy can help you decide whether or not to put your weight plates away when you're done. Being mindful about the broad ability levels of others in your facility can help everyone get a safe and effective workout.

? Many people have a certain amount of time in their day allotted to exercise. Being mindful about how long you stay on one piece of equipment can help everyone accomplish their goals.

? Typically, grunting loudly or making excessive unnecessary noise will cause others to be concerned at first, but that concern will quickly turn to irritation as the grunting continues. If you are lifting an amount of weight that causes you to make loud noises, it could be because you're trying to lift too much weight. For your safety, consider dropping your weight slightly.

You may be aware of many of these etiquette guidelines and might even be able to think of a few people who don't follow them. Being mindful of these guidelines can prevent you from being one of those people that other people avoid at the gym.

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