Make this your resolution.

I’m not cool with all the body-shaming that Madison Avenue heaps on people (especially women), but eating less junk food and exercising regularly are good for most people regardless of weight or body type, so if you rushed out to buy a gym membership today — congratulations!

That said, if your resolution involves more exercise, please also resolve to be courteous to others who have the same goal.

A few tips for newbies:

1. At the gym, leave the equipment at least as clean as you found it.

2. If you need to take a call or respond to a text message mid-workout, please don’t do it while sitting on a weight bench or standing on a treadmill with the belt stopped. Other people may be waiting to use that equipment. Don’t tie it up while you socialize.

3. Put away equipment when you’re done using it.

4. Before you get on the track, ask a staff member which direction you’re supposed to go, which lane you’re supposed to be in, and whether that changes from day to day. And NEVER walk side-by-side on a narrow track or trail.

5. Cyclists: If you’re approaching someone from behind, please call out, “On your left” or “On your right” before you pass.

6. Pedestrians: On narrow trails, please yield to cyclists, skateboarders and rollerbladers. It’s a lot safer and easier for you to step off the trail than it is for them.

7. Skaters: For safety’s sake, please pick up your board and walk in congested areas.

8. On public streets: Pedestrians should go against the flow of traffic; cyclists should go with it. This reduces the risk of serious injury in the event of a collision.

9. Dog owners: In public spaces, keep your pet on a sturdy, short (six feet or less) leash, and clean up after him/her. If you aren’t willing to pick up poop, you don’t need pets. Oh, and burn that retractable leash. Seriously. They’re useless.

Got any other tips for newbies? Share ’em in the comments!

Emily

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