gym etiquette

A gym is a great perk of apartment living, adding to your quality of life in more than one way.  But your gym etiquette (or lack thereof) could make the wrong impression, turning off neighbors, potential friends and even management. Here are some tips so you make a good impression in your apartment community’s fitness center.

Dress appropriately

Workout clothes should be worn, not flip-flops or bathing suits. You never know who you’ll meet in your gym—a potential employer, a future date, or simply a new friend. It’s always beneficial to make a good impression, even when working out. Ripped or dirty clothes tell something about you, as does wearing something too revealing, provocative or downright offensive.

Leave Work Behind

You’ll want to be friendly at the gym, but the less you talk about work at the gym, the better. Most people go to the gym with one of two things in mind: getting a good workout, or decompressing from a stressful day. You certainly don’t want to be the one to wreck someone’s fitness regime or their chance at a little peace of mind.

Be Mindful of Conversation

If someone approaches you and starts a conversation, you may certainly oblige them. But if you’re short on time, do be honest and let them know. Tell them you’d love to talk more, and suggest another time. A nice, short friendly conversation is appropriate: just be sure to follow up.

The same goes if you don’t want to connect with a neighbor in the gym. Good etiquette includes being courteous and respectful. Perhaps you should bring your earplugs and iPod. It’s an easy signal that you want to work out without talking.

Great Gym Etiquette Guidelines

Follow these basic gym rules to avoid irritating anyone:

  •  return free weights where they belong
  • don’t hog the cardio machines
    (typically most machines have a 30 minute limit unless the room is empty)
  •  turn off lights, fans and TVs when not in use
  •  wipe off equipment after use

Besides boosting your health, an apartment community gym is a good place to meet your neighbors . . . so you’ll want to ensure you’re on your best behavior as you’re trying to get in your “best” shape. When you work on your manners and leave a good impression at the gym, it could pay off in more ways than just your physique.

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About The Author

Suzanne Willis is a respected PR professional in the hospitality industry. For many years, she has also consulted on etiquette and brand reputation, while providing etiquette training for corporate employees. Willis is the owner of Mimi's Manners, which hosts etiquette classes for children across the Southeast.

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