Sweat it out

Every January gyms get predictably busier, jammed with those who made a vow at 11:59 on December 31 to get fit. Whether you are a consistent gym-rat or newly on your way to getting jacked, good for you. Here are some tips to keep things civilized when getting your sweat on.

· The change room is not your own personal naked parade. It is a purely functional space – get in, get changed, get out.

· If someone is working out between a few machines, it is totally acceptable to ask how many sets they have left, or if you can work in. It is not, however, acceptable to stare them down while tapping your foot. To kill some time while they finish up, stretch or work on something else.

· Your choice of music while you are at the gym is just that – yours. Ear buds in, please and thank you.

· For some people, working out is a social activity where chitchat is welcomed. For others, it is a solitary activity. Assume the latter until proven otherwise.

· Wipe down your equipment after you have used it. Anything that you have sweated on needs to be thoroughly spritzed, sanitized and wiped. If you notice someone not abiding by this the next time you are done wiping down your equipment, subtly drop off the spray bottle directly near their them. You’re just being helpful, right?

~ Karen Cleveland

Questions, comments and conundrums are most welcome at twitter.com/schoolfinishing or formspring.me/KarenCleveland

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