The gym can be tricky to navigate for first-timers. And it is not only because you have to get your head around all the different types of exercise equipment. It is because all gyms have their own unwritten (or sometimes written) code. While some gym rules are common sense, such as not laughing at other gym-goers, many are a bit more difficult to work out for those who are new to the game, such as how long to stay on a machine when the gym is busy.
We spoke to the fitness and nutrition expert from wellness website Sundt.Uk who gave us the following tips for newbie gym-goers.
Wipe Down Equipment After Use
According to a recent article in Metro, 13 percent of Brits wipe their face and gym equipment with the same towel, while only 19 percent say that they always clean gym machines after use. These are disturbing statistics, considering that gyms are a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses.
Exercise makes us sweat. And while this is natural, nobody wants to use wet equipment that has just been sweated on by somebody else. Bring a towel—many gyms provide these—to wipe down each machine after you use it. Even if the equipment you just used does not have any visible sweat marks, this does not mean that you have not left any germs behind. Many gyms these days also offer disinfecting wipes or sprays that you can use to clean equipment.
Keep Weights and Equipment Where it Belongs
Not putting your equipment back where you found it after use is not just annoying for other gym-goers but can be downright dangerous. Whether it is kettlebells, dumbbells, or a piece of larger equipment, leaving it in the middle of the gym floor is clearly a tripping hazard, so do not do it.
If you happen to find a weight that is not in its appropriate place, do everybody a favour and put it back where it belongs. In addition, do not hog equipment when the gym is crowded. 15 minutes on each machine is sufficient.
Do Not Disturb Other Gym-Goers
People hate to be disrupted when in the flow—and this goes for exercise too. Before starting your workout session, put your phone on silent or even better leave it in your locker. If you do have to have a phone conversation, take it out to the locker room so other gym-goers cannot hear you. And try to keep it short and sweet.
In addition, try to keep groans and grants to a minimum, as this can be hugely annoying for other gym members. And if you absolutely have to take that selfie to show off on social media or keep track of your fitness progress, make it discreet.