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Exercise Etiquette

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Don't Weight! The New Year is well on its way to springtime. If you haven't bought into the infomercials about dropping two sizes in a week or taking diet pills, try the old-fashioned way: exercise. Here are some tips for exercising outdoors and in the gym:

Outdoors

Do check the weather before leaving the house. You may need to dress in layers, so wear appropriate shoes and clothing.

If you live alone, let someone know where you will be. It's a good idea to create an emergency call list to leave at home and with trusted neighbors.

Do use common sense at all times, and be aware of your surroundings. If you wear headphones or talk on the phone, this may be disastrous.

For security and in case you have an accident, carry an identification card, a small amount of cash, and cell phone with you.

In the Gym

Do obey the fitness center's rules. These may include wearing correct workout shoes, not using cell phones, and signing in at the front desk.

Don't be late for personal training sessions and group fitness classes. It's your dime, plus being late for group classes distracts the others in the group. 


Don't hog the weight machines. When others want to use them, agree to rotate your sets. Follow the club rules.

Do reset weight machines back to the lowest setting. 
Otherwise, the next person may have to spend time resetting them--or worse, could injure him- or herself by trying to lift a weight that's too heavy.

Do limit your time on the treadmill and other cardio machines. The rule is usually 30 minutes if others are waiting for a turn. Again, always follow the club rules.

Do wipe up your sweat, please! This includes mats and machines. Keep a towel with you at all times. No one wants to sit or lie in someone else's sweat.

Don't use perfumes in the locker room. Out of concern for members with asthma or allergies, keep the spray products to a minimum.

Keep your clothes and other personal items stored in lockers. Clean up after yourself in the showers, sink, and changing areas, and deposit used towels in the proper receptacles.

Lisa Mirza Grotts is a recognized etiquette expert, on-air contributor, and the author of A Traveler's Passport to Etiquette. She is a former director of protocol for the city and county of San Francisco and the founder and CEO of The AML Group (www.AMLGroup.com), certified etiquette and protocol consultants. Her clients range from Stanford Hospital to Cornell University and Levi Strauss. She has been quoted by Condé Nast Traveler, InStyle magazine, and the Los Angeles Times. To learn more about Lisa, follow her on www.Twitter.com/LisaGrotts and www.Facebook.com/LisaGrotts.