Etiquette: Get Fit Edition

Ah, gentle Readers, the season is upon us. The season when we try on our bathing suits and go, “Didn’t this fit last year?” And then, of course, you have two choices, buy a new suit, or tie on the gym shoes.

Personally, I hate buying new swimsuits. Not because of the psychological trauma it always causes me, seeing tiny little teenagers run around in them while I just try to find SOMETHING that doesn’t look FAR too small on my six foot frame. No, it’s because those things are expensive. Seriously, for the price of a swimsuit, I can have two pairs of jeans! So, because I am cheap, (and because I just miss being out in the spring sunshine), I opt for exercise.

But there are some people who are downright rude when they’re getting their workout on! You know the ones I’m talking about. Oh. You’re not sure? Okay, here are some tips to make sure that person is not you:

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  1. Stay on your side of the road, buddy. Whatever side that is. Here in the States, cars drive on the right. That means that if you’re walking or jogging, you should stay on the left so that you can easily see oncoming traffic and cars can’t sneak up on you while Seger and Springsteen blast in your earbuds. (Is that just me? Okay. Don’t tell anyone I’m uncool.) On a bike or other wheeled conveyance? You need to be on the same side as the cars. Those are the rules. Keep everyone safe.
  2. Don’t hog the equipment. This is a pet peeve of mine. Gyms are smelly. Everything is sweaty and probably diseased. If I go to the gym, I want to be in and out as quickly as possible. So if you need to take a quick break on a machine, go for it. I, personally, like to take a drink and maybe stretch whatever body part I’m currently abusing between sets. But please, don’t be that person that just hangs out on their cell phone, using the weight machines as a chair. There are actual chairs for that. In your house. Don’t be a jerk.
  3. Keep it in your pants. Is there anything worse than flirting or being flirted with at the gym? No. I was once on a treadmill, and the guy next to me kept trying to get me into a conversation with him, including, “Wow! Five miles! I can’t believe you’re still running! Girl, do you always work this hard?” You want to talk to me?! I can’t even breathe right now. Also, ew. Not doing this for your benefit. Just leave everyone else alone. Unless they ask you a direct question.
  4. Don’t expect people to stop. Do you see me working out? Did I just wave and walk by? It’s not because I hate you or want to ignore you. I’m just doing my thing right now. You do yours. Later, we can get a drink. Right now, I need to get this done while I still have some semblance of motivation.
  5. Clean it up. Did I mention that gyms are gross and sweaty? Most of them provide antiseptic to wipe down the equipment after use in order to prevent the spread of diseases and bacteria. Please do your part. I don’t want to get a staph infection just so that I don’t have to spend money on new clothes.


Now go forth and get moving! It’s good for you! But be polite about it.

(I am not a doctor. You should consult a doctor before you start any sort of exercise regimen. Also, I am not trying to draw any line between thin and healthy. Healthy=healthy, and that’s different for everybody. My desire to fit into my clothes is because I am cheap and hate spending money on anything other than books and food. You do you.)

By amandamarieg

Amandamarieg is a lawyer who does not work as a lawyer. She once wrote up a plan to take over the world and turned it in as a paper for a college course. She only received an A-, because she forgot that she would need tech geeks to pull off her scheme.

9 replies on “Etiquette: Get Fit Edition”

Exercise and FB tip: I don’t know if this bothers anyone else, but reading through all the diet/exercise posts on FB gets a bit tiring. If you (general you) have a group of friends that are interested in that stuff, perhaps you could filter diet/exercise posts so only those friends see them. I am seven years post-eating disorder and reading that stuff still gets me down on myself.

Hmm…I like this! I like to run outside, so I hate investing in a gym, because I use it so rarely. But I do want to start incorporating some cross-training (and something to do on days when Chicago is windy and rainy and flood-y…) so I really appreciate that this is mostly stuff that can be done at home with whatever I have around the house. I may try one tomorrow!

If you’re still thinking about it, I wanted to let you know how it went. I did the Beginner’s Body Weight Circuit from Nerd Fitness today, and it kicked my butt. Seriously. WAY less in shape than I thought I was. And when I told my brother about it, he laughed in my face and assured me I will have trouble walking tomorrow. But, it felt awesome and was super easy to do in the house (I mean, it WASN’T super easy, but it was easy to make it work in the house.) So…after one try and some other reading on the site, I’d say highly recommended, and worth giving it a try if you want to change things up!

I feel lucky that my gym is pretty freaking clean and not infested with dude-bros, though that might be due to me usually being in before noon on a weekday. If you do join a gym, I have been really pleased with 24 Hour Fitness, and the childcare there is $20/month for two hours a day every day– my gym membership works out to less than $60/month, and it’s made my mental state much happier.

I too recommend 24 Hour Fitness but admit to running into these people, the machine hoggers most of all. They grate my nerves. I was so grateful the game was on last night because everyone’s eyes were glued to the TV and their butts were off the machines. Got in, got my workout on, got out without an interruption

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