In the New Year, many of us go after this health and wellness thing in earnest. But since it's a new -- or at least not continuous -- pursuit for so many of us, it can be hard to know how to integrate our new regimes into our well-mannered lives. Enter Mind Your Manners, our just-in-January series on all things health and etiquette.
A friend who gets swept up in a new fitness routine is like a friend who is in the honeymoon stage of a relationship. They are SO SO happy, you guys, and just want to share every detail about the way they’ve been spending their free time. Their lives have changed -- and you’re their best audience.
We’ve all done it at some point (or at least know someone who has). In the ‘80s, it was aerobics. The ‘90s, yoga. The ‘00s were about novelty workouts that tried to distract you from working out. Now, it’s boutique studios -- and squats. So many squats.
While you should always be able to talk about your hobby with your pals, we’ve asked Faye de Muyshondt, author and founder of socialsklz:-) for SUCCESS, about navigating the unspoken rules of fitness talk.
How often can you talk about your new workout routine before you reach the "annoying" point?
A mention of a new workout routine is sufficient for starters. It's a great conversation starter and can open the door to further dialogue, but remember that if someone else is interested in the conversation, they'll ask further questions. If not, let it go. You said it, you shared it, but they're not interested in the conversation and take note. Think about things you don't like to talk about -- it might be babies or ailments -- and then imagine someone talking at length about that topic.
Is it acceptable to substitute social interactions with workouts? (For example, a friend who wants you to go to their kickboxing class all the time instead of catching up over coffee or lunch.)
Of course it is, but as long as you know that the person you're asking is into kickboxing or spin class. It can be fun, but remember to be sensitive before inquiring. If you know this person isn't into workouts, don't ask. If there is already a shared interest, absolutely.
What do you say to the oddly competitive people who like to tell you that their workout is better than yours?
IGNORE and switch the subject! It's not worth the effort. Some of these workouts can become cult-like and ultimately a lot has to do with personal preference!
Is a "sweat selfie" ever OK?
Think about the end result. Put yourself in the viewers' shoes AND take a moment to think about who your viewers are. If you saw my "sweat selfie" on Facebook, what would you think? Are you okay with someone else's mental image of you being a sweaty one? If yes, go for it!
What about posting progress shots on Instagram/Facebook/etc.?
Everything in moderation, right? So if you want to post a status update on your progress sporadically, fine, but moderation is key. Also, give some thought to what the progress shot is. Your scale? A photo of you at the gym scantily clad? A simple photo of you (dressed) with a notable weight difference? Your abs? A rear shot? And also ask, "Is a photo really necessary?" before you post. Ask someone else's opinion.
What about the friends who are perpetually forwarding unsolicited workout "advice" or constantly repinning "fitspiration" on Pinterest?
The great thing about all of our social media outlets is that we can simply press "unfollow" and not have to be persistently faced with a barrage of advice and whatnot. Rather than commenting or questioning, IGNORE!