Modern Etiquette: Minding your manners at the gym

Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:32pm EST
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By Mary M. Mitchell

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Have you decided, as a New Year's resolution, to kiss your couch goodbye and get to the gym? Please accept my applause, especially if you follow through and remain resolved.

Some people seem to think they can leave their good manners and common sense outside when they enter places where people exercise. They get grim at the gym and become so focused on what they are doing that they lose all consideration for others.

Maybe it's all those mirrors.

If anything, the opposite attitude is required. Courtesy and consideration are required to minimize distractions and to promote safety.

Here are my Ten Guidelines for Gym-goers

1. Dress for success. The key words are clean and functional. Scant, sexy dressing is inappropriate because it is distracting and embarrassing. Avoid anything that drapes or dangles. Wearing jewelry while working out is downright stupid. Don't walk around in bare feet or with flimsy footwear, either - you could walk into a metal plate or barbell and break a toe.

2. Bag your gym bag. Lock your gear in the dressing room. Otherwise, somebody could trip over it, get tangled in the straps, and fall.

3. Don't be a drinking problem. Keep your water in an enclosed, unbreakable container. Don't even think about bringing food into class.   Continued...