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Urban Etiquette: How to Avoid Sharing Sweat at the Gym

by Borderstan.com — March 13, 2012 at 10:00 am 0

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Avoid sharing your sweat. (Photo by christaki from the  Borderstan flickr pool)

From Mike Kohn. Have an urban etiquette right that needs to be wronged? Find Mike on Twitter at @mike_kohn or send him an email at mike[AT]borderstan.com.

Featured image from christaki in the  Borderstan flickr pool.

Thanks to my sister, who is an avid yoga fan, I finally got on the bandwagon and started my own practice last summer. The athletic nature of it combined with the idea of locating your inner balance was incredibly appealing and got me instantly hooked.

Besides the practice itself, part of the reason I kept coming back for more was that the people at my studio, The Studio DC on Connecticut Avenue at R Street NW, had that sense of warmth and friendliness that made you want to come back — everyone seemed to know the etiquette of yoga already and they were more than happy to educate newbies like me who had no idea what they were doing. Their sense of etiquette was impressive even to me (and, admittedly, I’m a little high maintenance when it comes to etiquette, in case you haven’t noticed).

Since starting my yoga voyage, I’ve been to a couple of different studios and it’s not always the case that people have the sense of common courtesy that you just expect. I’ve seen people take up more than the necessary amount of space, like the jerk who takes up two parking spaces so no one can park in front or behind them, and it’s common to see people leave equipment scattered about. Come on folks, get it together.

So whether you’re a yogi or lifting or running at the gym, here’s some food for thought:

  • Make room. If you want a private gym, invite a trainer to your house. But otherwise, don’t leave your stuff strewn about, particularly if you’re at the gym or the studio or wherever you work out at high traffic times, like post-work or weekend afternoons. Moreover, don’t you dare give me a nasty look when I ask you to move your yoga mat six inches to the right so I can have my own space.
  • Clean up. Have you ever gotten on an elliptical and found it to be wet with sweat? If you have, you know just how disgusting that is. Yes, it’s a gym and I’m going to sweat myself, but I’d prefer to have a clean machine to start with for sanitation purposes. Every gym I’ve ever been to has a spray bottle with paper towels for you to give a quick wipe down, so be a pal and use what they’re offering.
  • Put your toys away. When I go to yoga, I always grab a block and a blanket that they offer. If I go to the gym, a lot of the times they’ll have a towel for me to use while I’m there. No matter what, I put away the stuff I borrowed. Do we need a Kindergarten lesson refresher?
  • Why are you there again? I remember my days at GW watching rows of runners who looked flawless in their tight fitting clothes (of both genders) and makeup (that one is mostly at the ladies, sorry). Are you taking up my machine because you want people to notice you?

Anyone else have any horror stories when it comes to your workout routine?

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