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Gym Etiquette: How Not to be a Meathead

Gym Etiquette: How Not to be a Meathead

    Being courteous.  Polite.  Mindful of others.  These things seem like common sense in any type of workplace environment.  So what happens to people when they step through the doors of a gym?  It seems that all these things get thrown out the window.  Most gyms have their own rules about these things.  But shouldn’t we as fully functional adults have the common decency to behave conscientiously without the rules?  What may seem obvious to some may not be so obvious to others.  Trust me —  I’ve seen them all.   It’s time for a change.

    Wear Sneakers: Not sandals, not boots, not loafers, and certainly not the shoes you wore to work this morning.  If you’re going to work out, do yourself a favor and invest in a good pair of sneakers.  Chuck Taylors are my favorite.

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    Appropriate Clothing: You don’t have to cover yourself from head to toe but please stop wearing these ridiculous tank tops, t-tops, and spandex shorts.  Other people would like to work out on the same equipment as you.  It would be nice to have peace of mind knowing that I will not be coming in contact with something that your flesh just became intimately involved with.  On the other end, if working out in a corporate facility, don’t workout in the clothes you came to work in this morning.  It seems a bit silly to me that someone would go through the trouble to hit the gym during their lunch break, but not have the common sense to bring a pair of shorts and a t-shirt.  (Please also remember to wash them on occasion.)

    Ditch the Aftershave: It’s a gym, not a night club.  Keep the sex panther at home.  The need for fresh air in a gym environment is critical.  The last thing you want to do is pollute the air of hard working individuals.  The ladies will forgive you; I promise.

    But Wear Deodorant: It’s the hardest conversation a gym owner will ever have.  One of their patrons has extremely kicking BO, and none of their passive aggressive attempts at letting them know has worked.  You smell.  Everybody smells, especially when they workout.  Do yourself and others a favor, and just put a little deodorant on.  You can wash it off right after if you don’t like it.

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    Wipe Down Machines: That big sweaty imprint you just left on the incline bench?  Get rid of it.  I don’t care how you do it, just make sure it’s not there when it’s my turn to use the bench.  I’m pretty sure, by law, most gyms have to provide some sort of antibacterial spray for just such causes.  Find out where it’s kept, and use it.

    Put Weights and Equipment Away: Put it right back where you found it.  It blows my mind how many people go to the gym, the ultimate “I’m not lazy” thing to do, yet they leave a trail of clutter everywhere they go.  Remember when you were little and your mom taught you how to put your toys away?  Use those skills.

    Don’t Drop Weights: Simple. If you have to drop them, they’re too heavy.  Please, everyone in the gym does not need to know how much weight you just lifted.  Alerting people of your strength by crashing weights to the floor is not an appropriate way to gain attention.  It might work in the jungle of Congo but not in the gym.

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    Respect People’s Privacy: It might not seem like a private atmosphere but a lot of people would just rather tune out when they’re at the gym.  Learn the signs.  If someone is reluctant to respond to your conversation with normal social cues of interest, please just leave them be.  It’s not that they don’t like you.  Some people just need to be left alone when they are working out.  By the way, headphones usually equal “don’t talk to me”.

    Ask Before Using: Be aware of what pieces of equipment people are using.  If I want to go get a drink of water at the fountain it would be nice if I didn’t have to mark my territory before I left.  In the same respect, don’t camp out on any one piece of equipment like a lion over a fresh kill.  If you’re not using it, leave it.

    Be a Pal: Don’t be afraid to help people out once in a while.  Especially if they ask for it.  Give a stranger a spot.  Hold doors where applicable.  Help re-rack weights.  It won’t cause you any harm to go out of your way once in a while for someone who may only be an acquaintance.

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    It’s time that decent, civilized, well-mannered people take over the gym.  The Stone Age is over, people.  The gym can be ours now.  The meathead is endangered and it’s time that he be retired for good.

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    Last Updated on September 20, 2018

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

    If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

    1. Breathe

    The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

    • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
    • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
    • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

    Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

    2. Loosen up

    After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

    Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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    3. Chew slowly

    Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

    Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

    Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

    4. Let go

    Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

    The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

    It’s not. Promise.

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    Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

    Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

    21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

    5. Enjoy the journey

    Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

    Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

    6. Look at the big picture

    The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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    Will this matter to me…

    • Next week?
    • Next month?
    • Next year?
    • In 10 years?

    Hint: No, it won’t.

    I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

    Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

    7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

    You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

    Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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    8. Practice patience every day

    Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

    • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
    • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
    • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

    Final thoughts

    Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

    Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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