Hospitality Mentality! Gym Hospitality

Nancy Anderson
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By Barbi Snyder

An environment of hospitality is one that must be part of our behavior no matter what venue we live in, visit, solicit or support, frequently or less frequently. Essentially hospitality and respect for others go hand in hand and are undeniably related and corroborative of each other! We ( my spouse and I) are avid fitness enthusiasts and utilize fitness facilities regularly and have done so in many locations when traveling. Also over a period of 20 years, I managed gyms and fitness centers in many locations.
The very nature of gyms and the people that utilize them is one that harbors germs and bacteria of all types including ones of communicable and uncomfortable maladies such as common colds and rashes to more serious ones of influenza and the much publicized MRSA disease. With this a fact and not hearsay, users should do everything they can to reduce the risk of infecting other users of the equipment and facility, Unfortunately the risk of eliminating communicable infections is not possible but can be greatly reduced. One of the most tangible methods of infecting others is through bodily fluids and every gym user knows that body sweat prevails and is literally subsiding in varying degrees on every piece of equipment that one uses in a gym! The biggest proven way to keep bacteria and germs reduced on all nomenclature touched by others from various body parts is to wipe down the equipment just used, entirely, carefully with an alcohol based solution and clean wipe or disposable, treated towels provided by the facility to accomplish this function! As frequent gym users, our suggestion is to follow our example. We wipe down each piece of equipment before and after use as we do not want to assume anything when dealing with our personnel health and well being along with doing the right thing with hospitality mentality in mind!

The second and very disruptive and disturbing thing that takes place in the gym environment is the expulsion of loud and unnecessary noises. These typically includes grunts and groans by those using heavy weights that are too heavy or by those using improper form to lift! The only solution to this, for those who chose to engage in this disturbing practice is to exhale with vigor as even a hearty exhale will not be audible throughout the facility.
Another literally disrespectful practice is to hog one piece of equipment for an extended period of time when they gym is busy. They will rest on the equipment in between reps instead of cleaning it off and letting someone else use it. Even more obnoxious are those participants that chose to hold elongated conversations with others while tying up the equipment.

Proper attire should be a rule for use in gyms. Simple common sense goes a long way. Explicitly, jeans, street shoes, ornately decorated tops etc. should not be allowed! Common sense tells you that the user will not get the benefit of proper clothing, via wicking of sweat, protection of the feet (we have seen users with sandals on!) and equipment can be ripped and snagged etc. Courtesy and respect all around will make for a better hospitality gym experience.

The writer has vast gym and fitness experience both as a facility manager and instructor in multiple locations over a twenty five year period!
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