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October 9, 2013

Common Sense Exercise Etiquette

exercise etiquetteDo you like to look at yourelf in the mirror on the gym floor at the fitness center? Or, talk on the cell phone during a group fitness program?  Or, wear the same sweaty stinky clothes?  If so, this article on exercise etiquette is for you. HINT: don’t do any of those activities. Certainly don’t be like George Costanza and pee in the shower.

Rules for Exercise Etiquette

The Locker Room

While strutting around in the locker room keep your privates wrapped in a towel at all times other than when you are in the shower. When changing clothes be sure to place a towel between your naked butt and the bench or chair. Don’t stand butt-naked while shaving or engaged in other grooming activities.  Avoid using obnoxious smelling perfumes, cologne, deodorants, hair sprays, etc.

Do your grooming in the locker room, not on the exercise or gym floor, and that includes popping your pimples. Don’t assume others enjoy your odoriferous as much as you do. Use the restrooms to release unwanted bodily fumes.

Group Fitness Activities

Show up on time for a group class. It’s rude not to. Be courteous to other participants. Dress appropriately for the class. Always wear a shirt at a fitness center.

Maintain a safe distance between you and the exerciser next to you – two arm lengths is a good distance. Don’t grunt. If you must take a call on your cell phone, excuse yourself from the class and go to a quiet area away from the class.

If music is being played as part of the group exercise listen to it rather than using your headphones to listen to your own music. The music was probably selected for the activity for a reason.

Save private conversations with other club members for after class.

Exercise Equipment

Wipe down the exercise equipment and gym mats after you use it. Don’t hog a machine. If doing multiple sets on a weight machine keep your recovery between sets to a minimum, or allow someone to work in a set while you recover.

At busy times limit your use of cardio equipment to 20-30 minutes. Of course, it would be nice if the center or club had enough equipment for those crowded times.

Reset weights to the lowest weight possible when leaving a machine. Also, remove weights from barbells when done and return them to the racks.

Do not change TV stations on shared televisions without asking other exercisers – especially a much of guys watching a football game.

So there you have the basic common sense rules of exercise etiquette. But, it’s amazing how often these tips for exercise etiquette are ignored.

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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