Working out at the gym is great for your health
Walking, biking, or otherwise moving your body outside is such a natural draw. But research, such as a 2022 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, highlights how important it can be to work in strength-training, even at low intensity – in fact, the study suggests, supplementing your workout for even just 30 to 60 minutes a week of strength training a week was enough to reap benefits… and may even help you live longer.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, individuals who worked out for this amount of time had a 10 per cent to 20 per cent lower risk of dying during the study period from all causes, and from cancer and heart disease specifically, when compared to those who engaged in no strength training.
So, whether these recent findings have you feeling inspired to hit the weights for the first time in a while or you’re already an established gym-goer, there are some acts of common courtesy to keep in mind when your workout takes place in a shared space. To get the details on everything that drives gym staff crazy, we asked fitness professionals to fill us in on habits that secretly (or not so secretly) bother gym staff – and helpful hints on what to do instead.
1. Not being courteous of others
According to the gym staff we spoke with, being a considerate gym member really comes down to the Golden Rule. In other words, it’s as simple as treating others in the space as you’d like to be treated. “Fat-shaming, cat-calling, or just making for an overall hostile and non-friendly environment isn’t welcome,” says personal trainer and gym staffer, Eliza McFadden.
Do this instead: A simple solution? Be kind. McFadden adds that if someone else is making you uncomfortable, it’s important to let a gym staff member know.
2. Hogging the equipment
Evan Studwell, a personal trainer with 12 years’ experience in the fitness industry, says being a considerate gym-goer also extends to the use of equipment. “It’s annoying when people take up a ton of equipment at once, like doing a circuit workout involving five different pieces of equipment,” he says. “The gym is busy during prime time, and people sometimes act like it’s their own private gym.”
Do this instead: A more favourable approach to maximising your workout – and being considerate of other members – is limiting your use to one machine at a time, using one or two pieces of equipment and then putting them away before taking out another, or going at non-peak hours if you’re hoping to incorporate more.