Can you believe 2016 is right around the corner? With holiday prep at an all-time high and New Year’s Resolution-ers setting their reminders for January 1st, you can expect to meet up with some stressed exercisers, busy gym floors and classes, and possible waits for your favorite cardio machine. Deep breaths! Whether you’re a gym regular or planning the first step of your fitness journey, there are a few small things you can do to help make everyone’s workout experience a little merrier, and lighten the mood. Consider these.
Mind Your Manners
You’re sure to see some new faces in your workout space this season. Before you start moaning and groaning about all the newbies, remember that you were once in their beginner shoes too. Have patience and be kind. It isn’t easy stepping onto the gym floor for the first time. Smile, be courteous, or even try saying “hi.”
Spread Your Energy
You can look to many places for some fitness motivation these days. I have made a hobby of scouring Instagram to find pictures, quotes, or videos that inspire me to keep pushing, as well as posting my own thoughts. Share a message with your fellow members on your gym’s public bulletin board—after you ask the manager for permission of course. Your small gesture could help motivate, educate, or encourage a fellow member to overcome a plateau or barrier they’re facing.
Do Your Chores
You may be past the days of earning an allowance, but you can still help out around the gym to keep your club clean. Anyone will applaud you for kicking the intensity up a notch and sweating it out, but wiping down the equipment you use (treadmill, bench, etc.) is a MUST in any gym, studio, or box. And don’t forget to return the equipment to its proper place or re-wrack your weights! Not only will your fellow swolemates be happy, but you may burn a few extra calories in the process.
Share Your Toys
During peak hours, there may not be quite enough equipment for everyone. Our muscles deserve a minute or two between sets, but don’t hog the equipment while you’re waiting. If someone asks to “work in,” say “yes.” Who knows? Sharing the equipment may even help you move at a more efficient pace and meet a new workout partner.
Be a Cheerleader
It may be your first workout ever, or you may be a former athlete looking to make a comeback. At the end of the day, we could all benefit from a little extra cheer in the gym. Don’t be shy. Make an impact by giving a high-five or an unexpected compliment. You’d be surprised what a little encouragement could do for someone else. It may be just what they needed to hear that day to keep them going on their fitness journey and arm them to face life’s stresses.
Can You Hear Me Now?
Our cell phones are glued to us nearly 24/7. In most gyms, cell phone use is discouraged while working out. Of course, listening to your music or using a fitness app to stay on track are the exceptions to the rule. Save your calls, texting, tweeting, and Facebook updating for before or after the gym.
Pay it Forward
When all is said and done, we could all benefit from a little extra love and support—some of us more than others. Want to help? You can give back in many different ways. The smallest good deed can ignite change and positively impact your community. More often than not, your gym’s manager and trainers may know of some people within the local gym community who are struggling and could use some assistance during the holiday season. Give what you can, whether it’s volunteer time, a few extra dollars, or donation items like food, clothing, or care supplies. ‘Tis the season of giving!
Need ideas? Visit volunteermatch.org to get matched with volunteer activities in your community.
Note: Anytime Fitness gyms are typically open as usual on holidays. Confirm with your local gym.