Your Best Life Gym Wisdom

Health & Wellness

Your Best Life
Tips for Living Healthy in South Arkansas

Jason Rogers
Manager, Jefferson Regional Medical Center (JRMC) Wellness Centers

EVERY person to step foot in a fitness facility either IS or once WAS a “newbie.” That time when you enter a completely new realm. Everything seems foreign and you don’t understand the language. It cannot be avoided. Yes, for those individuals who grew up playing sports in school, the environment might not be quite as intimidating. But, there are still things to learn – do’s and dont’s that will make life in the gym easier.

If you’re a naturally curious person who doesn’t have trouble seeking assistance, you’ll fit in just fine – and in short order. If you’re the type who adheres to the “trial by fire” method of learning, the road could be long, embarrassing, and painful. Experience is a wonderful teacher … if you learn the lessons, but the tips below will give you a head start on the road to “gym enlightenment.”

If you are a brand, spanking newbie, take advantage of an orientation or a couple of personal training sessions. Trying to use a piece of equipment incorrectly can not only be embarrassing — it can also get you hurt.

The sign on the wall stating “re-rack your free weights” is, indeed, speaking directly to you. The few who care how much weight you lift were already watching you. Everyone else will be much more impressed with you if you pick up after yourself. Courtesy first … and last!

For the first couple of trips, it is perfectly acceptable in a group exercise class to not know what exactly to expect or to not have the ability to do what everyone else is doing. However, after you gain that knowledge and ability, not following the choreography presented in class is disrupting and disrespectful to the instructor.

Wipe down your machine, bench, bar, etc. with an antibacterial wipe when you leave it. You brought all of your DNA with you when you came … everyone will appreciate it if you don’t leave any behind!

Everyone in the gym will appreciate meticulous personal hygiene, but cologne and perfume have no place in a fitness facility. What you think is “just the right amount” of smell good may have those working out next to you choking and seeking clean air! Simply being clean and wearing deodorant is always preferable.

Finally, and possibly most importantly, make every possible effort to not sit on a piece of equipment doing nothing between sets. If you’re not in the midst of a set and someone asks to “work in” with you, the only truly acceptable answers are “absolutely,” or “this is my last set.” Chairs are for sitting, machines are for exercising.

I hope you’re ready to get your sweat on. If you need any other help, let us know!

The JRMC Wellness Centers, located in Pine Bluff and White Hall, offer a variety of fitness options for all ages and interests. Free weights, machines, cardio equipment, personal trainers and a full schedule of Les Mills classes are available at both facilities. For more information call the Pine Bluff (541-7890) or White Hall (850-8000) facility.


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