Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete in good shape, you are always at risk for accidents while working out at the gym. Getting injured while at the gym or the fitness center is an increasingly common occurrence nowadays, according to a study published by the University of Arkansas.
Researchers say such injuries have seen a 35% increase in the past few years. While routine exercise is vital to maintaining overall health and well-being and everyone is encouraged to engage in such activity, there are several risks and potential hazards of which you should be aware.
As you probably know already, shared equipment, such as cardio machines or weights, can be particularly hospitable breeding grounds for bacteria. Germs and bacteria also find locker rooms quite homey, and they don’t hold back from multiplying everywhere.
Some of these critters can cause conditions such as athlete’s foot, brittle nails and warts. To protect yourself, always make sure to wipe down communal equipment both before and after you use it. Also, never walk barefoot. Wear swimming socks in the pool and flip-flops in the shower and locker room.
It doesn’t matter how good of a shape you’re in. If the equipment is old or defective, you’re at risk. Keep in mind that gym machines can be used by as many as a hundred people every day.
If you notice anything amiss, stop working out immediately and don’t hesitate to report it. Your safety is of the utmost importance and gym staff should always inspect the machines for damage to prevent accidents from happening.
If you aren’t at the peak of your physical fitness and you want to try a new, higher-level exercise or work on a more demanding machine, you put yourself at risk for injury. Before you rise to the next level, you must make sure that your body is in the right shape to handle the extra effort.
Until you are prepared, stick to the exercises suitable for your level of fitness. They’ll give you the workout you need without the increased risk of damage to your neck, back or joints.
TRIPPING AND FALLING
As you run, jump, and carry objects around a crowded workout area, you are at risk for stumbling and falling. Equally risky are slippery areas, such as pools and locker rooms.
Protect yourself from trip-and-fall accidents by always being aware of tripping hazards like free weights and gym bags. Tread carefully in locker and pool areas.
It may sound surprising, but many companies offer fitness trainer certifications for as little as a fee and the passing of a basic test. These wannabe trainers are less likely to be able to help you complete your goals and their instructions and guidelines for safe workout practices may be lacking, to your detriment.
Remember to always ask to see degrees and certificates before hiring a trainer or taking a class, just to make sure they are up-to-date and have been issued by reputable providers.
There is always opportunity for accidents while working out at the gym, but following the safety procedures and working out responsibly should keep you safe from injuries, infections and other mishaps.