I was recently asked to blog about gym etiquette by a friend of mine and fellow gym mate that's irritated by unwritten rules not being followed by some. Common sense isn't common so let's discuss these matters before someone gets tagged with a dumbbell!
Mind your business
It’s perfectly fine to introduce yourself to new members or people you keep seeing at the gym but avoid ichibeleshi✋🏾. Don’t offer unsolicited advice and unless you have the physique that screams 'I know what I'm talking about' and/or you're familiar with the individuals you wish to correct stop policing people. Many gym goers are fairly self-conscious in the weight room, so don't shine a spotlight on them; mind your business.
Respect personal space ⛔
Gyms can get busy, but it’s polite to give other gym-goers as much space as you can. Try not to get on a bike or treadmill right next to someone if other machines are available. If you're forced to train next to another person, keep your eyes from wandering and on your own machine. As for weights stand far enough away from your fellow exercisers to give them room to train comfortably and just breathe without you suffocating them.
Lastly, be polite to other members, but be mindful of starting conversations that don't have an ending. While you might be lovely company and a funny guy many people just don't have the time for excessive small talk and mickey mouse conversations. It's distracting.
Clean up after yourself 🧽
During your workout, it’s best to keep your water bottle, towel, mat, and other items close to you instead of spreading them all over the place mungulu mungulu. This helps other gym-goers know which equipment you’re using and which spaces are available for them to exercise in. And when you're done please wipe down 🧽 any and all machines you used! Use a towel to wipe down all surfaces your skin touches.
Proper gyms should have wipes or a spray bottle with disinfectant 🦠 throughout the gym that you can use to spray and wipe down a piece of equipment. If they don't you might want to consider changing gyms before you start catching bacterial infections and your skin starts changing color.
Keep it pushing and don't be a hoarder
When you’re using the gym equipment, it’s important to remember that—like you—other people are working out on a tight schedule ⏰ . You need to train and keep it moving. Nobody swings by the gym to witness you sitting on equipment you’re not using to text or scroll social media. They don't show up to marvel at you doing your circuit either so please avoid circuits during peak hours. Come during off peak if that's your preferred way of training to prevent holding up everyone else.
Lekeni ichongo (Noise) 🗣 🦍
Gents, when you're moving serious weight please spare us with the macho noise making and dropping of weights. Working hard, with a few grunts and groans is understandable but when it's excessive, it becomes a distraction for other gym members. Control yourself and be respectful of others by reducing your volume.
Sambani Please (Bath) 🛁 🧼
More on this here. People should not be able to smell you coming. Keep things fresh!
Chikwela Mu Gym
June's here and everybody's sniffing, coughing, sneezing and just generally sub-optimal. You don't have to be a victim of the cold weather. Play your cards right and you won’t only survive the winter but potentially thrive in it! Here's how:
Personal hygiene & skin protection
Wash your hands with soap 🧼 at every opportunity. Do this for at least 20 seconds while remembering to scrub under your fingernails and you can be reasonably assured that you've removed most germs and viruses that you may have been exposed to. Moisturize your hands when you're done and don’t forget to place some vaseline on your crusty lips 👄 . For people like me that have eczema and general dry body syndrome you should invest in a good moisturizer like CeraVe or E45 (available at PicknPay) before the winter transforms you and your skin into a different species. It's a very dry season and the cold air tends to draw out the moisture from your skin so guard against it.
Create a warm, cozy environment and sleep more. Ensure that you go to bed warmly dressed. Tip: Winter socks are absolute gold - find them, buy them and use them. These tips extend to married folk too. Get your mamina under control before you start thinking about other things. You might also want to consider spending some money on a weighted blanket to increase the heat and comfort in your bed.
Incorporate more citrus fruits
Any orange or yellow colored produce such as oranges 🍊 , naartjies, lemons 🍋 as well as any other fruits you can get your hands on will help a great deal in providing your vitamin needs and lifting your immunity.
With the sun taking a vacation you might want to consider a vitamin D supplement to support your immune system. If you're male it'll likely do a lot more for you and go a looong way with other things. For those averse to supplements consider exposing yourself to whatever little sunlight you have available for 15 to 20 minutes daily or consume your vitamin D through vegetables that absorb it such as the darker vegetables like spinach and/or fortified dairy products. Other optional supplements to consider include a multivitamin pill that'll act as an insurance policy for any gaps in your nutrition. If you'd rather not engage in pill popping then have a serving of varying fruit and vegetables with every meal.
Other useful tips:
Winter's here 🥶and it's been brutal! The cold temperature changes can adversely impact positive health and wellness habits real quick but I'm hoping to keep you on track with your fitness goals. Here's how you can manage yourself:
Can't get out the blankets? Choose to intermittently fast and skip breakfast to compensate for the lack of activity in the morning. Eat according to what you intend on doing. If that's nothing then place your mouth on the same abstinence schedule. The general idea is to force your body to sustain itself off your fat reserves. The jiggly components on your body consisting of your belly, thighs and love handles are all fat reserves. Intermittent fasting melts away any excess fat that you don't want. I highly recommend it!
Watch your fluid intake
Nothing beats a hot cup ☕ of anything on a cold, miserable day but consuming multiple cups with multiple tablespoons of sugar and honey WILL pack on the pounds. Opt for green tea 🍵 as your first choice hot beverage option and senna tea every now and then . Green tea will help you lose fat by stimulating your metabolism and slowing down your absorption of carbohydrates while senna tea will help you poop more 💩. ⚠️ Note: Senna should only be considered as a short term remedy to keep things moving and not as a daily tea option. If you prefer other teas then consider sweeteners such as stevia (available at Umoyo) ahead of sugar. As for honey, it isn't a get out of jail free card because if you over-indulge you will get fat. Watch yourself on those honey and lemon tea combinations.
Home-based workouts are a viable solution to your winter troubles. You can follow a structured program such as P90x or Insanity (available on Beach Body) or engage in simple interval training such as Seven right from the comfort of your warm home environment. If you’re too lazy to work out at the gym or go running every morning, you can always exercise at home. You can skip the gym, but there’s no need to skip the workout.
Hit the Gym After Work or Over Your Lunch Break
Just in case you don't feel motivated to leave your bed in the morning finding time over your lunch break or after work might work out better for you. You'll have a bit more time to adapt to the weather and get on with it.
Befriend Your Bathroom Scale
Remember that scale in the corner of your bathroom? Put some respect on it and bring it back to the centre of your bathroom and use it daily. Best done first thing in the morning after using the restroom. This practice will keep you well aware of any undesirable changes in body weight while you hibernate. Armed with this knowledge you can make an informed decision: Either you start doing some activity or turn your head from left to right every time food is offered to you.
The winter provides you with an opportunity to hide what you're not happy with under various layers of clothing, summer does not. Avoid surprising yourself!
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