You’ve decided to enter the world of fitness. You’ve done your homework. You’ve selected a facility with lots of options that will give you what you need. The gear is purchased and you are ready and eager to attend. That first visit can be somewhat intimidating but a little less so if you have a few tips. Ask about an “introductory program” to give you basic familiarity in the weight room. This really helps you know what you are doing instead of walking around the place aimlessly. You will also be shown how to use equipment correctly and safely. A good basic program will give you an efficient workout that targets all major muscle groups. It’s a nice easy way to start. If the facility does not offer this or if you feel you need something more specific then it is best to hire a personal trainer to map out a plan for you. Investing in a trainer can greatly reduce your risk of injury and increase your chance of success.
Now that you are on your way to better health and fitness here are a few gym etiquette tips. Please do not wear dirty shoes in the gym. Oh, it sounds like common sense but an awful lot of parking lot debris, beach sand, or grass cuttings seem to make their way into the gym somehow. Please have one pair of shoes for traveling to and from the facility and another clean, dry, athletic pair for your workout. Most facilities will provide spray bottles of disinfectant and towels with which to clean the equipment you use. This is an especially courteous thing to do if you are sweating much at all. Please do not hog weight machinery. Be mindful of others who would like to use the same equipment. If you are using heavy weights please, please remove them from equipment so that other less strong participants can load theirs on. Be sure to return equipment to it’s storage spot. Do not leave it lying about where others may trip on it. Our facility has a visually impaired member who manoeuvers through the gym very well but not as safely if things are out of place.
It is best not to come late to a fitness classes on your first visit. Early is best the first time so that the instructor has a chance to let you know what is going to happen and what equipment you will need. Once you are familiar with the class format, most instructors will not mind if you start a little late, especially if you can enter with as little distraction to others as possible. It’s best not to be late to a yoga class however. Yoga usually begins with quiet relaxation and there is nothing more annoying than a late participant stomping in then snapping their mat down. Know that if you come late to any class the chance of sneaking into the back row will be slim. The back row fills up first in most classes. The risk of having to tip toe over others already in relaxation mode, eyes closed on their yoga mats or having to drag a step, weights, stability ball and mat past others who are trying to see the instructor as you whisper sorry, excuse me and can I slip in here, will be high if you come in late. Get fit but don’t forget your manners 🙂