Danica Patrick: Gym etiquette tips you need to know

November 15, 2016 | by Danica Patrick

When it’s too cold to exercise outside, you’ve got to take it indoors. Especially in Chicago, where winter can be downright brutal.

If you’ve never been part of a gym, there are some things you should know before you start working out.

Gym etiquette is something I’ve always noticed. There are unspoken rules you pick up on when you work out regularly. I’m going to clue you in now so you’re a step ahead when you go to the gym.

  • Clean up. Wipe down your equipment before and after you use it. That includes cardio equipment and weight benches too.
  • Headphones on/earbuds in = don’t bother me. Even if I don’t listen to music, I keep headphones on because I don’t want people to interrupt me as I focus on working out.
  • Don’t drop weights. Dropping weights can ruin them. Unless they’re Olympic bars with rubber bumper plates, which are meant to be dropped on a wooden Olympic platform. Regular rate plates and dumbbells. If you’re loud or you drop things while working out, you need to find a gym where that’s okay – like CrossFit. All we do is drop weights (and we use rubber bumper plates).
  • Put stuff back where you found it. Don’t leave equipment scattered around the gym.
  • Don’t block the mirror. Someone lifting in front of the mirror is making sure they maintain proper form. Don’t walk in front of them if you can avoid it.

Greatist offers more etiquette tips in this gym guide.

Don’t even want to leave your house? That can work, too. Home gyms are incredibly easy to set up.

CrossFit has taught me how to work out with minimal to no equipment. If you have a few basic items, you can do a ton of stuff with it. Start with a kettle bell, a jump rope, a box and a couple of weights. It’s not very expensive, especially when you consider how much a gym membership can cost. This home-gym guide from Shape has some good suggestions.

A home gym eliminates the need to worry about germs, other people’s sweat or what time of day you exercise.

We have a gym at home. The CrossFit gym I used to go to was almost 30 minutes away. You drive there, warm up and do your class, then B.S. with everybody after class. Then you drive 30 minutes home. If you’re on a tight schedule, working out at home is often the best option.

You also don’t have to look good when you work out at home. It doesn’t matter what you wear.

Having a gym set up at home helps me stay motivated, because I don’t have to deal with the commute or going out in cold weather. It’s easier to fit into my life. Isn’t that the goal? Make exercise a regular part of your everyday life, not a big production you have to wedge into your schedule.

Drive your health forward at Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness. 

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