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Gym Rules: What You Need To Know About Fitness Club Etiquette

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We tell you how it is comfortable to go in for sports without harming yourself and others.
Most fitness centres offer a guest visit service before purchasing a subscription: the administrator or coach shows guests where the locker room is, what equipment are available and how to use them correctly, who should leave the pass and keys to the locker. If it is not possible to practice in a trial lesson, and all visits are paid, do not rush to take an annual subscription. Otherwise, you may not like the coaching staff, the number of simulators or the overcrowding of the gym, and the money will not be returned. To begin with, it is better to learn the basic rules and, if possible, buy a one-time pass to assess the situation.

But in addition to the rules of a particular gym, there is also an unspoken etiquette, the knowledge of which will help you feel more confident and better prepare for a new sports life.

  • Ask questions
  • Put things back in place
  • Pay attention to others
  • Pay no attention to others
  • Wear an antiseptic and a towel
  • Be careful with photos
  • Respect personal space
  • Free up equipment when not exercising

Ask questions

Don’t miss the introductory safety briefing. Even if you have visited the gym before, it is worth listening to the possible risks, especially if you plan to work out on simulators. As a rule, introductory information is given briefly, and it is not always possible to remember and understand all the features of the operation of special equipment. Therefore, ask clarifying questions, ask again and return to the discussion in subsequent times if doubts remain. Feel free to communicate with both the staff and the visitors to the sports club. But keep in mind that weight training requires a focus on the process. No need to distract your neighbour on the simulator with small talk when he lifts the barbell, or reach with your hand over his head for dumbbells. Just check how soon he will release the equipment.

Put things back in place.

Sports equipment, from rugs to kettlebells, has a place. The staff keeps order, but with a large number of visitors, it is challenging to keep the hall in perfect condition. Remember to return items to where they were taken from. The exception is interval or circuit training when you need to return to work with weight after the next round of exercises.

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In this case, put the equipment next to you, but so that it does not interfere with other athletes. In any case, you must put it back in place when the lesson is over. The same goes for adjusting the difficulty and weight of the machines. After exercising, return to neutral settings and remove excess discs from the bar.

Pay attention to others.

It’s not about dreams of a perfect press “like that blonde’s”, but about safety. In a gym, injuries cannot be avoided if visitors do not take care of each other. When doing dumbbell exercises, make sure not to hit another person. A fitness club is a community of people united by a common idea. Therefore, do not be afraid to ask for help and help yourself if someone contacted you.

Pay no attention to others.

Contradiction? We don’t think so. Giving unsolicited advice about exercise technique is not worth it. An exception is when you see that improper use of the machine can lead to injury.

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As much as you want to view other visitors for motivation or clothing choices, try not to do so openly and intrusively. Most people come to study, and not to show themselves, excessive attention will be unpleasant for them.

Wear an antiseptic and a towel

Studies have shown that the surface of sports equipment and equipment is covered with bacteria and microbes [1]. Viruses prefer non-porous surfaces such as steel weights. Therefore, both before and after using exercise equipment, benches and equipment, they should be treated with a disinfectant spray and wiped off with a dry towel. So you will protect both yourself and other visitors, because colds are transmitted during the incubation period, even in the absence of severe symptoms.

Be careful with photos.

Gym selfies are popular content on Instagram and other social media. It’s an excellent way to track progress, record progress, surprise you with willpower, and let the world know that you prefer a healthy lifestyle. The main thing is not to disturb others. The same rules apply here as when photographing in a public place. 

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Try to take pictures in front of the mirror in the gym or dressing room on minimal busy days. Even if it seems to you that only you were in the frame, check if there is someone else in the background. It is unlikely that another person wants to be on public display with a red face and sweat spots during training.

Respect personal space

If you feel like sitting on a bench in the dressing room, make sure there is enough space, so you don’t end up close to another visitor. The same goes for exercising on a rug in the gym: try to stay at a safe distance from other athletes. If you need to talk on the phone or you came to the gym with a friend, communicate in a way that does not disturb others. This rule also applies to music: you need motivation and the right soundtracks for strength training – plug in your headphones.

Free up equipment when not exercising

If you’ve finished a cycle of exercises and decided to distract yourself with the news feed on your phone, free up the simulator. When you take dumbbells, move away from the rack with them, without blocking the approach for others. 

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Much depends on the time of day and the number of people in the hall. When it is empty, you can allow yourself to relax where it is convenient. But if there are a lot of people, you should not delay them, even if there is no visible queue for equipment. Exercising and not using machines is one of the most annoying gym habits.

#pronscience: 7 reasons why drastic weight loss is dangerous

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If you want to become slimmer, don’t rush things. Sometimes quickly lost kilograms come back even faster and in double the volume. We tell why science and doctors oppose express weight loss.

Even the most gentle diet can have undesirable consequences. And yet, many, wanting to see the changes as soon as possible, are ready to go for the most severe restrictions on food. After all, when only a few weeks are left before an important event, the most important thing is the result. Even if the chosen diet is contrary to common sense. According to nutritionists, a safe rate for weight loss is up to 1 kg per week. If you lose more, serious complications can arise. We list the reasons that make such experiments hazardous to health.

Reason number 1. Decreased immunity

Diets that are high in calorie deficiencies and exclude essential nutrients from the diet increase our susceptibility to infectious disease. Including the coronavirus, nutritionists warn. With this diet, the amount of vitamins and minerals entering the body sharply decreases. This not only weakens the immune system but also reduces life expectancy, found researchers from Stanford. When a person begins to follow a strict diet, his body is exposed to severe stress. As a result, the concentration of cortisol in the blood rises, a hormone that suppresses the natural inflammatory responses to viruses and bacteria. According to experts from the University of Pennsylvania, another unpleasant consequence stress – increased cravings for sugary and high-calorie foods.

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Reason # 2. Failure of the reproductive system

Fans of express diets are faced with malfunctions of the reproductive system. Especially if you combine dietary restrictions with gruelling workouts, in women, menstrual irregularities can be caused by a deficiency of essential fatty acids omega-3 or vitamin D – these substances are responsible for the production of female sex hormones. But to get carried away with fibre during diets, on the contrary, is not worth it. American scientists have proven that excess dietary fibre lowers estrogen levels, which regulates the menstrual cycle. If you lean on fiber, the risk of amenorrhea (absence of menstruation) increases tenfold. At the same time, the dietary fiber contained in vegetables and fruits has the most significant influence on the work of the reproductive system. Another factor that can disrupt your menstrual cycle is high levels of the cortisol, as mentioned above.

Reason # 3. Mood swings

Sudden weight loss can severely damage the nervous system. Any extreme diet leads to nutritional deficiencies and imbalances in certain hormones: serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, cortisol, and leptin. Because of this, a losing weight person has frequent mood swings. He becomes nervous and irritable. And the endocrine changes that accompany dramatic weight loss can cause depression and anxiety. Researchers at Harvard Medical School made this conclusion. According to them, estrogen and oxytocin help manage stress. Conversely, low levels of these hormones increase anxiety and cause worrying thoughts. Also, due to the lack of calories during express diets, the body begins to save resources: we become less active and concentrate worse.

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Reason # 4. Loose skin and wrinkles

Many fast diets provide weight loss by removing fluid from the body. Potential consequences include headaches, increased fatigue, dehydration, and nerve cell death. Also, due to lack of water, swelling appears, tissues lose elasticity, skin becomes dry, nails – brittle, hair – dull and weak. Again, the weight that was lost due to the loss of water, as a rule, quickly returns. If a person loses several tens of kilograms in a short time, his skin does not have time to respond to changes and sags, and wrinkles become more pronounced.

Another component of beauty and health is fat. At the same time, most extreme diets involve a sharp decrease in their consumption or complete exclusion from the diet.

Reason number 5. Decreased muscle tone

One of the unpleasant results of a calorie deficit is a slowdown in metabolic processes, including fat burning. Thus, the body seeks to conserve every incoming calorie and compensate for energy costs. As a result, not only the “plateau effect” occurs (when the weight freezes at one point), but the synthesis of new muscle fibres also slows down. Also, a sharp reduction in incoming calories forces the body to look for alternative sources of energy. Muscles become one of these: they “burn” much more actively than fatty tissue. The fact is that during stressful diets, the main task of the body becomes survival, and the muscles for it are extra ballast that consumes too many calories. Therefore, it “eats” the muscles and triggers lipogenesis – the process of fat storage for a rainy day.

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Reason # 6. Accumulation of fat

The body will continue to increase the amount of adipose tissue – reserve energy reserves, even returning to the usual diet. That is why, after gruelling diets, it can be so challenging to maintain the results: the weight almost always returns to the original or becomes even more. The stress hormone cortisol also contributes to the formation of adipose tissue. This has been proven scientists from Stanford University. An experiment conducted by a group of biologists led by Mary Teruel showed that mammals with elevated cortisol levels had twice the weight gain compared to controls. Teruel says this happened not only due to the synthesis of new fat cells but also due to the growth of existing ones. Also, with express diets, the production of hormones that regulate appetite is disrupted.

Reason # 7. Gallstones

Lack of adequate nutrition can cause various disturbances in the work of the gastrointestinal tract – bloating, constipation, slowing down of digestion, gastritis, ulcers. The consequences can be even direr if the low-calorie diet is accompanied by laxatives, fat burners, or special stimulants that suppress hunger. Most of these drugs deplete the body’s resources and negatively affect the central nervous system. Also, rapid weight loss increases the likelihood of developing gallstones. During fat burning, the liver secretes cholesterol into bile. If its concentration becomes too high, bile crystallizes and turns into stones. Such risks are subject to all dieters who lose more than 1.5 kg per week.

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