I went to my health club today and did a cardio session on an elliptical machine. First time in two weeks. I couldn’t help but notice that I wasn’t alone in renewing my commitment to indoor exercise. Anyone who’s experienced the weather this winter and was hoping the first week of March would offer the opportunity to exercise outside was in for a rude awakening. Snow and frigid cold, crazy cold for March, gripped a large swath of the mid-section, mid-Atlantic, and northeast. One result: People headed to their health clubs for relief.
So, now is a good time to remember that even at a health club, your actions affect the people around you, and there are a few important ways each of us can make the experience for everyone more enjoyable.
- You may use your smartphone to listen to music or track your progress, but don’t use it to talk to your best friend while you huff and puff away on the machines. If you’ve simply got to make/take a call, step out to the lobby or another place your conversation won’t bother anyone else.
- Clean up after yourself. That means wipe off your machines, weights, and equipment after you use them. There is nothing grosser than someone else’s sweat glistening on the equipment you’d like to use. Cleaning up after yourself isn't limited to equipment. Towels go in the hamper or basket after you’re finished with them. Shaving stubble shouldn’t greet the next person to use a sink. Cleanup any water you’ve dripped around your dressing area and leave it neat.
- With all the people going to the gym, respect any cardio equipment time limits the gym may have so everyone has a fair chance. Same goes for weights and other equipment. When you are finished with weight equipment remove the weights and/or rerack them.
- Respect the people in class with you. Be on time and if you have to leave early let the instructor know at the beginning of the class.
- Daunt flaunt yourself. A little modesty on the gym floor, in the locker room, or in class won’t disturb fellow patrons’ comfort levels.
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About the author
Since 2004, Peter Post has tackled readers' questions in The Boston Sunday Globe's weekly business etiquette advice column, Etiquette at Work. Post is the co-author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business" and conducts business etiquette seminars across the country. In October 2003 his book "Essential Manners For Men" was released and quickly became a New York Times best seller. He is also the author of "Essential Manners for Couples," "Playing Through–A Guide to the Unwritten Rules of Golf," and co-author of "A Wedding Like No Other." Post is Emily Post's great-grandson. His media appearances include "CBS Sunday Morning," CBS's "The Early Show," NBC's "Today," ABC's "Good Morning America," and "Fox News."