Let’s face it, with the cold weather upon us getting our butts to the gym can be a daunting task. Once we finally show up, being exposed to rude gym behavior can be a huge de-motivator. So in the spirit of making the experience as pleasurable as possible, we’ve complied a list of our favorite gym-etiquette tips. Observe and spread good workout karma. Fellow members will appreciate the effort.

Get Naked Responsibly.
If you’re comfortable being free with your nude self more power to you, but not everyone else may be so at ease. Respect the comfort level of others and cover with a towel after showering/ putting on your makeup/drying your hair/lounging in the steam room. You get the drift. Just be aware of your nude time. Don’t forget to wear flip-flops to preserve your, and others, feet from spreading dreaded locker room fungi.

Don’t Have a Fling.
Flinging your weights whether they are free or machine attached isn’t good form physically or audibly. No one enjoys the startling smack of weights dropped from above. Chances are if you feel the need to release them uncontrollably, you’re most likely straining with the weight or reps in the first place. This also includes the grunting that may accompany the fling. Keep the weight and verbal noise pollution to a minimum.

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Strip (Your Weights).
It’s polite to leave the weight machines empty for the next member to add the weight they can handle without wasting time taking off the weight somebody else left behind, this goes for both the light and heavy.

Keep the Feng Shui Flowing
Everything has its place. No matter how tired you are after using the free weights/ exercise bands/ mats and other gym accoutrements, put them back. No one wants a Pilates ball rolling over them as they bang out 100 sit-ups. Plus, keeping things organized makes it easier for everyone to find what they need, and eliminates the dreaded tripping hazard.

Share and Reciprocate.
You may be in the zone, but I assure you, the folks waiting to get their cardio on lining up behind you, aren’t. Especially during peak times the gym is packed, be conscientious of others waiting and observe the gym’s set time limits. If someone is hovering around your machine for 15 minutes tapping their Nikes, offer to let them work out between your sets. Conversely, if you want to use a machine, ask permission to work out while they’re resting. Just don’t be the one tapping your Nikes back.

Get Cozy with Your Towel.
On the locker room bench, in the sauna, in the steam room, and on the exercise mat, basically anywhere your body may touch a common surface; let the towel come between you. On that note, mopping up excess sweat may be gross, but it’s even more gross when it’s not your own. Wipe down any equipment you use with a towel so the next person doesn’t have to.

Lose the Cell.
Talking on the phone is disruptive in such a confined space. If you really must communicate with the outside world during your workout, send a text, just don’t do it while someone else is waiting to jump on your treadmill.

Be Timely.
When it comes to classes, nobody likes a latecomer disrupting the vibe, especially the teacher. If you must arrive late or leave early, take an unassuming spot in the back where you can get by unnoticed.

Limit the Chit Chat.
It’s nice having a workout buddy; just don’t use gym time to engage in a long-winded catch up session. Be wary of the listening ears around you and understand not everyone is interested in how many glasses of vino you downed last night and the antics that resulted because of it. Keep conversations short and quiet and save the catching up for the juice bar.

Christina Simone Angelacos is a freelance editor / social media consultant living in New York City. She has over 10 years experience in marketing and editorial both interactive and otherwise. She writes about beauty, fashion and relationships. She also helps companies both large and small resonate with their audiences online. When she’s not editing, tweeting, blogging, or waxing the poetic you can most likely find her engaged in deep conversation with good company in some candle-lit West Village haunt. Besides her passion for melancholy Brit pop, subtitled film, and handwritten love letters, she has a simple mission: Facilitate relationships and produce great work. The end. Interested in learning more? Here is her website: http://thisverymoment.com/

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