Six Health editors lay out their biggest pet peeves.

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If you’re a fitness fanatic like Health's editors are, then you probably have at least one pet peeve—something your fellow gym bunnies or trail mates do that drives you bananas.

In a recent article in The New York Times, Jen A. Miller lamented the use of smartphones in races, noting that the devices have become “social media spouts for runners to take selfies, FaceTime a family member on a crowded course, or chat on the phone in the middle of a race, oblivious to the people behind and around them.” She pointed out that in her 10-year career as a runner (her new memoir is Running: A Love Story), there have always been racers who did inconsiderate things. "But with the advent of smartphones, such incidents have blossomed."

Miller's piece got us talking (okay, ranting) about the some of our biggest workout woes, below. We are sure you can relate.


“Guys (sorry, but for some reason it's always guys) in hot yoga class who leave big puddles on the floor and don't bother to wipe them up when they leave. There are few things grosser than stepping barefoot into a pool of someone else's sweat.”

Jeannie Kim, executive deputy editor

Irresponsible spitting

“My big pet peeve? Runners who don't practice spitting etiquette. I get it, it's really annoying to have that phlegmy feeling in the back of your throat. But please watch before you hock a loogie to make sure there's no poor innocent jogger in the landing zone.”

Jacqueline Andriakos, associate editor

Getting too close for comfort

"It seems whenever I'm in the gym, someone stands right next to me. I've been in big empty rooms and someone starts working out on top of me. It drives me mad! To calm myself down I just tell myself they are right next to me because they see me as competition and want to keep up. But in reality I think they just don't have my personal space issues."

Dwyer Frame, contributing editor

“Mat placement in yoga class gets me really riled up. If class is basically empty, for example, it annoys me if someone comes in and puts their mat down super close to me. (Give a girl a little space for sun salutations, please.) Then I start wondering if it would seem rude if I moved my mat away from them, and I'm stuck with this internal struggle when I really should be feeling zen.”

Kathleen Mulpeter, senior editor

Abrupt stops

“I cannot stand when I'm running in a race, and the person in front of me comes to a halting stop or transitions to a walk without moving to the right. It messes up my rhythm and pulls me out of my zone. No one would do that while driving, so they shouldn't do it during a race either!”

Alison Mango, assistant editor

Wet surfaces

“In the gym, I hate when people don't wipe off the equipment after they use it. The last thing I want to do is sit on a soaking bench, or grab some piece of equipment that is dripping. It only takes a second to wipe things down—I should know, I do it myself!”

Rozalynn Frazier, senior fitness editor