Locker Room Etiquette with Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding

Elements of locker room etiquette

When it comes to going to the gym one of the most intimidating places is the locker room. Here’s advice on how to handle everything from nudity to showers from Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding.

Proper Gym Etiquette In The Locker Room

No bare feet. Whether you go in quickly to use the restroom or shower, change and do your makeup before going back to work, don’t let your bare or socked feet touch the floor. Gym floors are generally moist leading to two concerns. Slips and falls are a primary concern and bare feet on slick floors are likely culprits. Health issues are also a risk when it comes to bare feet. Whether something simple like foot fungus or more serious, like meningitis, the simple act of keeping your feet covered will keep you and others safe. Be sure to bring non slip flip flop style shoes for showering.

No smartphones. Most gyms ban smartphones from the locker room because of their cameras. Leaving your phone in your gym bag, locker, or pocket is a good way to make sure that no misunderstandings occur. Keep your gym selfies and progress pictures for on the floor and in your home.

Wash your hands. Your hands can’t stay covered like your feet but wouldn’t it be nice? Instead, wash your hands before leaving the locker room.

Keep showers short. Some gyms post their limit on showers but no matter what, quick is key. If there is nothing posted your shower should stay under 10 minutes. This helps keep the line moving and gives everyone access to a quick, hot, lather and rinse. Just skip the repeat.

Keep track of your eyes. Locker rooms are full of naked people in all phases of their fitness journey and it can be interesting to see how people are changing and comparing your own progress. But just like you don’t want to be gawked at, it’s a good idea not to check other people out in the locker room.

Watch your language. Children and people of all backgrounds use the locker room. Keep your language PG-13. Also, be careful how you talk about others. The gym should be a place everyone can enjoy no matter where they are in their journey.

Mind your belongings. Try to keep your things together rather than spreading everywhere. If your gym has individual lockers for free day use be sure to bring a combination lock and use it. Take everything with you when leaving. Some gyms allow the renting of lockers for a month or longer. If you choose to rent be sure to keep your locker mostly empty to avoid the odor of dirty clothes and do not ever put food in your locker.

Go easy on scented products. Locker rooms are damp, hot, cramped spaces. Scented products can linger and mix in such a place. Try to keep your product dousing, especially if you like heavy scents, to a minimum.

Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding, NYU Langone Weight Management ProgramGym Etiquette Guide

Check out our other posts about gym etiquette:

  • Cardio Room/area
  • Nautilus Room/area
  • Free Weight Floor
  • Cross-Training Room

Also check out the post on general gym etiquette.

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