Gym manners

let's start in the locker room:

1. In the name of prevention, pop on some extra deodorant before your workout begins. Even the freshest-smelling folks can have others reaching for their gas masks during a vigorous workout.

2. Before hitting the gym floor, wash your hands, and, yes, wipe off some of that cologne/perfume.

3. Do not smoke in the gym.

Now, we're ready for our workout:

4. Do you have an extra towel with you? Wipe off aerobic equipment, free weights, weight machines, and mats after you use them -- even if you don't sweat.

5. If you're a multi-set kind of gal or guy, glance around to see if someone else is waiting to use the machine or area you currently occupy. Offer to let them work in (alternate) with you, and if you're feeling particularly generous, ask if they'd like you to "spot" them.

6. If you are waiting for equipment currently in use, DON'T HOVER! Give the dude or dudes some space to move and breathe -- you'd probably appreciate that same courtesy.

7. Put free-weights back in their proper place after you use them. Who wants to clean up after others or search high and low for equipment scattered far and wide?

8. Distracting other gym rats with loud grunts, sing-a-longs with one's Walkman, and social hours with friends and neighbors should be avoided.

9. Gyms and health clubs can be great places to meet that special someone. But if an object of your desire doesn't return your winks and smiles, take a hint: they are probably there to work out, not to hook up.

10. Finally, timeliness to classes not only gives you more exercise time, but also reduces back-ups and waiting time -- helping the whole darn place run like a well-oiled stair climber.