During the holiday season, we all try to be a little bit nicer to each other, to give a little more to charities, to try to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be. Even just a small random act of kindness can really make someone's day. Not too long ago, I pulled up to a Dunkin Donuts drive-thru window to find out the stranger ahead of me paid for my coffee. That kind gesture put a smile on my face all day and made me think of random acts of kindness we could do for each other while we are working out the gym or studio. I asked some fitness experts for their ideas for random acts of fitness kindness and their generosity knew no bounds. Here are their suggestions:
Lend someone a towel
"A member of our group training offered another member her personal unused towel to shower with. The gym had an issue with the washing machine and there were no towels available. The one member had to be able to shower before she returned to work so the other member who lived close to the gym gave her towel up because she could shower at home."
--Eric Strassman, Performance Coach at Optimal Sports Health Clubs
Help out a new student in class
"See someone looking a bit lost at yoga class? Show them where to set up their mat and most importantly – where the restroom is."
Simple, genuine compliments go a long way
"If you notice that someone is really kicking butt in their training or class - compliment how awesome they were in that session or sincerely compliment someone's workout clothes - ie. that really looks good on YOU!"
--Sandy Weston, founder and co-owner of Weston Fitness
"It sounds so simple but just to randomly compliment someone about something they are doing in a yoga class, a pose, a bench press,etc..…share with them how AWESOME they look and if you have seen them a lot…how much they have improved! A vote of confidence goes a VERY LONG WAY with someone working on their yoga or fitness routine! Go out of your way to maybe tell at least one person each class or workout how great they are doing! We all need a little pat on the back now and then!"
--Kristine McCreary, owner of AntiGravity Yoga LAB Lehigh Valley
Leave a treat by someone's yoga mat
"My favorite yoga teacher used to leave us a small treat like a Hershey's Kiss or even a silly sticker at the front of our yoga mats. As we opened our eyes after class we would find the treat in front us. I always loved this!"
Give someone your appointment time
"If you know that someone is having trouble booking the time that they want with a certain trainer, give them your spot for the day!"
--Sandy Weston, co-owner and founder of Weston Fitness
Pay for a complete stranger's class
"We have a membership at the studio and one of the benefits of membership is once a year, on the member anniversary, they receive a free week at Become Yoga. Usually, the members give this to a family member to use. This year though one of our members requested that we select a name from our community class ($5 class) someone who doesn't come at all at any other time and give that individual the week of classes... amounts to 3 classes ... it was pretty cool on both ends especially cause our member asked not to be identified to the recipient"
--Dimeji, Become Yoga Lansdowne
Help someone struggling in class or with equipment
"Help someone with bad form so they don't injure themselves."
--Matt Alten, SWEAT King of Prussia Director
"If someone looks confused about how to use a machine, either help them out or hop on the one next to them and start using it – they will watch and learn!
--Carolyn McAnlis, SWEAT Fitness Dietician
"My random act of kindness is to see if someone is walking around the gym feeling a little uncomfortable. I always invite them into class or ask them if they need help. It just makes some people who aren't comfortable in the gym, comfortable."
--Donna Storm, SWEAT Group Ex Fitness Director and 106.1 FM Radio Personality
So today go out there and bring some holiday cheer to your next fitness class or training session. You may be surprised by how rapidly that one act multiplies as everyone does their part to pay it forward.