Treadmill Etiquette With a Towel

Know your treadmill etiquette.
i Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Most gyms display rules for exercisers, but there are also some unwritten rules people should follow if they don't want to be frowned upon by other fitness enthusiasts. One of them is the open treadmill rule where you don't choose the treadmill next to a stranger unless the gym is very busy. This rule applies to all equipment. Some unwritten etiquette rules involve towels.

You Need a Towel

Some gyms provide towels while others don't. Make sure you always have a towel with you whether you bring it from home or use the gym's towel service. Having a towel helps you keep your sweat to yourself as there are few things worse than getting on equipment doused with the sweat of others. If you sweat heavily, keep your towel on the rail near the treadmill console and wipe yourself as needed.

Treadmill Behavior

Sometimes, a towel will go flying off the rails when someone is working out. It is a courtesy to pick it up and hand it back to them if you are nearby. You would certainly appreciate this if you were the person on the treadmill working hard and sweating profusely. A towel is also a great way to tell the person watching your readout from the next treadmill that she is annoying you. Just toss your towel across your display.

Cleaning the Treadmill

You can work up quite a sweat on a treadmill and it is courteous to wipe it off before leaving the machine. Some gyms provide paper towels and cleaning solution for this, but in other gyms, you will have to use your towel. Always wipe the hand bars and console. If the gym provides cleaning spray, it is best to put it on the paper towel while standing away from the other treadmills, as the smell of the spray can irritate some people.

Follow Posted Rules

Many gyms and fitness clubs have rules posted. If any of the listed rules for your health club contradict the etiquette stated here, then follow those rules. For example, if listed rules indicate that the gymnasium staff will clean the machines after you complete your workout, then do not wipe it down yourself. You can also report another patron to the staff if her behavior is inconveniencing others.

the nest