Want to hit the gym in the new year? Great idea! But, if you plan on using the locker room, there are a few things you should know before you go. Whether you are going to the YMCA or just the office gym, there’s an unspoken behavior guide to co existing with other gym members. Don’t create awkward moments. Read these gym locker room etiquette tips before you go!
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What happens in locker rooms? Know before you go!
If you have spent any time at the gym, I’m sure you have become familiar with the locker room. You really can’t avoid it, unfortunately. If you want to store your workout bag, take a shower, or use the scale, you have to venture into the locker room from time to time.
Gym locker rooms are usually gender specific. They are private spaces where clothes are changed and usually stored in lockers. Most locker rooms are fairly open spaces with no stalls except in the bathroom part of the locker room. A good one will have showers, sauna, lockers with locks, benches, and maybe basic amenities like hair dryers.
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Ever wonder about proper locker room rules and regulations? What locker room behavior is acceptable and what will have other’s looking at you in annoyance? If you want to navigate the gym locker room safely and annoy as few people as possible, here are a few locker room etiquette tips that you might want to keep in mind.
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Locker Room Etiquette
The gym caters to all types of people. Some of them have no understanding of personal space or proper hygiene. Please don’t be one of them. Here’s an etiquette guide to the gym locker room.
Is Gym Nudity Ok?
Sure, maybe you are proud of your body. But, that doesn’t mean everyone wants you parading around naked. Locker room etiquette requires a certain amount of decorum. Put on a towel if you are strolling around. Cover up the important bits if you are going to sit around on a bench and paint your nails. Flashing the occasional strip of exposed skin is to be expected but at least try to be a tad bit modest about it.
Limit cell phone usage:
Locker rooms are close quarters and not somewhere to have a long and loud conversation with your best friend. Keep cell phone usage to a minimum and just get your stuff done. Once you are clothed and out of the locker room you can discuss your plans for the weekend. And keep in mind that NEVER is it okay to snap photos, even of yourself, in the locker room. No one wants their naked butt to be in your locker room selfie!
Respect personal space:
No one wants your naked self brushing up against their own naked self in the gym locker room. Good locker room behavior requires keeping your distance from others and avoiding direct eye contact. Treat the other people like aggressive stray dogs. Keep your distance and don’t look them right in the eye! A brief nod and a glance is all you need before getting into your locker and putting on clothes. If there are 100 lockers to choose from, don’t choose the one immediately next to the other locker room visitor.
Practice good hygiene:
Locker rooms are for everyone to share. That means you should not be clipping your nails, trimming your bangs, or doing anything except basic maintenance. Wear eco friendly flip flops in the shower to reduce the spread of germs and generally try to be neat and tidy.
Do not eat your breakfast in the sauna (yes, people at my gym do this!) or apply lotions before going in the hot tub. The women’s locker room is not your own personal space so keep it clean and sanitary for others. Put a microfiber gym towel down on the bench before you sit on it.
Get in and get out:
Certain times of day are incredibly busy in the gym locker room. Don’t spread your stuff out and sit around on your cell phone checking email. Give up your space to someone else trying to get into their locker. The gym locker room isn’t your personal lounge so just get in, get stuff done, and then leave.
Have any locker room etiquette you think needs to be shared? Let me know in the comments below. And if you are a fellow gym member, you might enjoy these Sauna Tips for Better Health! Want read more about locker room rules and regulations? Check out A Sweat Life!
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.