Were you one of the millions of people who vowed in their New Years Resolutions to start going to the gym? If so, good for you! I, too, think that 2014 is my year to get healthy! But for someone who hasn’t been to the gym for awhile, it may be hard to smoothly integrate yourself with those already-dedicated gym rats. Here are a few Modern Girl tips for proper gym etiquette:
1. Take it serious
Those who are hardcore working out at 6am have a goal and a plan — get up, get their work out in, shower, and head off to work. It might be arms day, legs day, cardio, ab work, etc., and you should know what your plan is too. Decide what you want to do before you get there so you’re not aimlessly wandering around the equipment getting in someone’s way.
2. Know the gym rules
If you’re going to be going to the gym at a peak time, there are probably some rules about how long you can spend on a cardio machine — make sure to look for a sign, or inquire at the front desk. Gym rules also include re-stacking your weights, wiping down machines after use, and leaving your cell phone in your gym bag! If you’re using your cell to listen to music, make sure to set it up before you get there and stow it away in a pocket or armband.
3. Be clean!
Nobody wants to be working out next to someone who looks (and smells) like they haven’t showered since 2013. Just because you’re at the gym doesn’t mean you can’t be presentable. Pin/pull your hair back, and be sure to wash your gym clothes after every workout. It’s not only nice for your fellow gym goers, but its good for your skin too! Sweat in clothes harbors bacteria — yuck! It’s also a good idea to stash some face wipes in your bag post-workout to immediately remove pore-clogging sweat, bacteria and dirt from your skin.
4. Take it slow
Don’t be intimidated by others around you who may be marathon training or bench pressing 3x your weight. Go at your own pace and listen to your body! Over training or pushing yourself too hard can lead to injury. If you’re not sure how to do certain exercises or how to use some of the equipment, enlist the help of one of the gym trainers. Sometimes a session or two may be included in a new membership!