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Behave While You Exercise
If you thought that good manners were for only school children then you are mistaken. While you are in the gym do remember the basic rules and code of conduct and display your best behaviour.
If you let your weights slam to the ground, howl, grunt or scream while warming up and make unnecessary conversation with others-you're badly in need of some gym etiquette. Going to a gym is similar to living in a community, yet many don't realise that belonging means you're expected to follow some rules, even though they're often unspoken ones.

Dale Pettit, personal trainer at World Gym in California, suggests that common courtesies like wiping down a machine and reracking weights create a communal atmosphere.

Here's a guide to basic gym etiquette. You may think you know all, but double-check our list.

Keep quiet:
The gym is not a library, nevertheless don't sing along to your iPod or chat on your wireless headset. Refrain from offering advice to strangers (unless they ask) or trying to chat with the person next to you.

Dress appropriately:
Avoid shredded tees, thongs, obscenely tight clothing or makeup. The gym is not the place to find a date. And make sure your socks don't stink.

If you are in between sets or taking a breather, let someone else use your weights or machine. Basic etiquette says 30 minutes on a treadmill or elliptical machine is enough. But if there's nobody waiting, stay on.

Two's a crowd:
Never get close enough to another person to identify their type of deodorant or toothpaste flavour. There should be enough gym floors for two people to work out without touching.

Mirror mirror:
There are lots of mirrors inside a gym, so don't be afraid to look at yourself while working out. However, don't walk in front of the people staring at themselves in the mirror-they're usually checking their technique.

Be patient:
A machine with a towel or book on it is an indication that somebody is still using it. If the machine you want is occupied, don't hover or tap your foot. Instead, politely ask how many sets they have left.

Clean up:
Towels are available to wipe off anything you touch. They keep your sweat from getting onto others and their sweat off you. Also, properly re-rack your weights when you're finished. Leaving them on the floor is more than just rude; it can be hazardous.
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Posted on : 23/11/2005
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