Sondra E. Z. Hines
Sondra E. Z. Hines

Being a group fitness instructor gives me great joy. I get to coach enthusiastic people toward fitness goals, share my knowledge/training, and conduct classes designed to be inspiring and fun. This statement applies…most days.

And then there’s a flip side — the days when participants arrive and forget to pack their gym etiquette.

When common courtesies are ignored, its affects not only me, the instructor, it also can be distracting to others who take their workouts seriously. And who needs that?

So, with that in mind, here are five things you should avoid while in the gym or exercise class.

Excessive chatter – Don’t do it! What many consider chit-chat can be distracting when it’s a full blown conversation. Let’s face it; it’s hard to focus on exercise when someone is yammering in your ear about what happened at work.

Lack of enthusiasm – If you’re going to the gym for any reason other than exercise, then you are cheating yourself. Put that money to better use if you’re not going to give it your best effort

Arriving late – Of course there are instances when being late can’t be avoided, e.g. traffic. However, I like when participants arrive on time. It shows a commitment to what they are doing.

Ugly behavior – I’ve seen participants literally push others aside to grab weights or to secure their favorite spot on the aerobics floor. It doesn’t take much to practice courtesy. Another pet peeve of min…folks who neglect to wipe down equipment after use.

Cell Phones and Social Media – I am amazed at how many participants pause in the middle of class to take calls (often loud conversations), send text messages or take selfies. Unless it’s an emergency, wait until class ends. Or at least have the courtesy to step outside.

The next time you go work out, whether to a fitness class or gym visit, remember to be mindful of others.

Until next time, I wish you wellness and joy!

Fitness expert Sondra E. Z. Hines, is a AFAA certified Group Fitness Instructor, Zumba instructor, workshop presenter and motivational speaker. A former Adjunct Professor, she has 15+ years’ experience in the health industry, presenting at local, regional and national events.  A freelance writer, her column is published each Wednesday on Follow her on Twitter.

Sondra E. Z. Hines is an AFAA-certified group fitness instructor, Zumba instructor, workshop presenter and motivational speaker. A former adjunct professor, she has 15-plus years as a fitness instructor...