Gym/Swim etiquette for people who just want to work out.

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The gym/swim world can be volatile. It is a place where you can be full of insecurities or devoid of them depending on the place and those in it. Here is a list of frustrating etiquette pointers inspired by my friend’s complaints – that if everyone stuck to, the gym would be a happy (as can be when you’re sweating on the treadmill for the first time in years) place.

  1.    SWIM IN THE LANES. Do not swim across the pool. Do not dive in mid way down and potentially knock out other swimmers. Do not zig zag and get in everyone’s way. We’re all trying to swim here.
  2. Know your limits. Yes, you may feel like Arnie when you get your gym gear on or your bathing suit. However it only makes others frustrated and annoyed when you doggy paddle in the fast lane. Or huff and puff with weights that are too heavy for you. Take. Your. Time.
  3. Keep flirting to a minimum. This may not apply to everyone – I’m sure there are some super fit men & women out there that enjoy a good flirt at the gym. However these people should know each other at first glance, and not prey on out of breath girls or other gym users that are trying to concentrate on their work out. Go to a bar to flirt, not the sauna (it’s creepy).
  4. Don’t intimidate others. This goes without saying, again there will be some super passionate gym/swim bunnies that enjoy the competition.  However this isn’t about good healthy competition. This is about looking down on others, or being ignorant – there’s nothing worse than an intimidating gym for a beginner. This goes for staff too.
  5. Take a towel. This is for everyone. Yourself, others, etc etc. No one wants to use gym equipment after a particularly perspiring person has used it. It’s annoying when sweat gets in your eyes (this may not happen to everyone, just me), and as for swimming – you get my drift.

All in all, use the gym! Go for a swim! Get outside! The feeling afterwards is worth it and living a healthy lifestyle is vital. And this is coming from a sport-phobic asthmatic girl. However be aware that it may not be a place that lies in everyone’s comfort zone, so make it as friendly and easy as possible. That said, go for it. And remember your water (&/inhaler).

*Image via Flickr

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