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What To Do At The Gym: Your Fitness Etiquette Questions Answered

First Posted: 02/05/2012 9:46 am EST Updated: 02/05/2012 10:28 am EST

By Miss Fit for Blisstree.com

Hello again from Miss Fit, a weekly advice column from someone who is a bit of a non-conformist when it comes to health and exercise. Today, she responds to questions about annoying gym behaviors. From guys who take their shirts off in yoga class to those who bring their cell phones into spin class, find out what Miss Fit thinks and how to handle them.

Dear Miss Fit,
My boyfriend thinks it's okay to take his shirt off in yoga class. A lot of other guys do this too. I think it's disrespectful and distracting because I feel like they are trying to show off their bodies (which some of them shouldn't) and that's not the point of yoga. Am I wrong?

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This is a question or concern that comes up a lot in the fitness world. You see guys running without a shirt all the time on the road, but in a yoga class -- or any other gym class -- it's not really cool. Some people prefer that bellies and backs stay covered up in a class. It comes down to a matter of respect for those around you, so when in doubt, it's usually better to err on the conservative side at the gym.

Dear Miss Fit,
Is it okay to bring cell phones to spin class? I see people do this all the time. Phones ring often and some even text mid-class while on their bikes.

It's okay to bring a cell phone to class -- as long as you don't use it. Or let it ring. Or vibrate. Some people just feel more secure with their lifeline with them at all times. But answering questions about work or catching up with your college roommate will have to wait until after class. And by that I mean, in the parking lot, not in the doorway to spin class or the hallways where crowds are trying to get around you.

Dear Miss Fit,
It's flu season and I'm paranoid about getting sick. Is it rude of me to refuse to shake hands with others at the gym? My aerobics instructor always wants us to introduce ourselves to others in the class before we begin, but I'd rather not because then I have to shake their hand.

That's a totally valid concern. Here's what you do: When asked to introduce yourself to others, you can still go up to them. Just keep your hands behind your back. If they try to shake your hand, just let them know you're fighting a cold and don't want to pass it on. They will surely back off. And if they don't, be sure to wash your hands immediately after class.

Have a question? Send your dilemmas about feeling like a misfit when it comes to eating, fitness and going to the gym to editor@Blisstree.com with "Miss Fit" in the subject line.

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Filed by Sarah Klein  |