Essential Etiquette for All Gym-Goers

By: Mollie Shauger | Thursday, January 9, 2020 | Fitness

A woman wipes down a machine in the gym. Credit: iStock

It's easy to get wrapped up in our workout routines and forget about our own habits at the gym or fitness center. Following these basic etiquette tips can ensure everyone who uses the gym is able to have a safe and positive experience.

Keep equipment clean

To minimize the spread of germs that cause illness and infections, wipe down cardio machines and other gym equipment when you’re finished using it. Viruses can live on a surface anywhere from a few seconds to 48 hours, according to LIVESTRONG.com. A towel is good for wiping off sweat, but the towel alone won’t kill any viruses or bacteria. You can use the cleaning products the gym provides, or bring your own disinfecting wipes or solution. Wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after workouts to further reduce the spread of germs.

Keep your workout area clear

Be mindful of the number of items you have with you and where you put them while working out. “It’s not only rude to leave weights and other equipment scattered around a workout space, but it sets the stage for completely avoidable accidents and injuries to occur,” states the American Council on Exercise. When finished using weights, mats or other equipment, put them back where they’re stored. Keep unneeded personal items in a locker or other safe place. 

Be respectful of others

Each person who comes to the gym has their own fitness goals and plans to achieve them, but everyone shares the goal of being healthy. Be supportive by refraining from distracting others who are exercising by playing music too loud, talking on your phone, or having long conversations. Follow your gym’s time limits for equipment, especially during busy time periods when many people are working out.


To learn how the YMCA can help you reach your wellness goals, stop by your local Y or visit metroymcas.org. Because the Y is for all, financial assistance is available for individuals and families who want to participate in Y programs.


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