You go to the gym to burn fat, improve your physique, and maintain good health. But every year, thousands of people across the country are rushed to the ER because of workout-related injuries.
If you’re not careful, the gym can become a surprisingly dangerous place. But never fear! Follow these six tips to avoid dangerous mishaps at the gym.
Mistake #1: Exercising too close to others
Gyms can get packed during peak times. When there’s a lot of people throwing around weights in a small space, you never know what can happen.
When exercising, give yourself a good cushion between others so there’s no danger of hitting each other. Also avoid exercising in walkways. When walking around the gym, don’t walk right in front of someone who’s exercising. Give them a safe buffer of a few feet.
Mistake #2: Benching without a spotter
Of all the weight exercises, the bench press is one of the more dangerous ones. That’s because you’re pushing a heavy weight over your body and face. If the weight slips or you lose your strength, it’s going to fall on top of you.
For safe benching, use a spotter. A spotter will help you avoid a catastrophe, plus help you feel confident in benching more weight. Don’t hesitate to ask a friend or staff member to spot you.
Mistake #3: Leaving your weights behind
From dumbbells and weight plates, to barbells and kettlebells, there’s a lot of heavy gym equipment. And they’re easy to trip over or bump into when left lying around.
When you finish your exercise, always put everything back in its proper place. Not only is it polite, but also it will go a long way in helping yourself and others avoid an injury.
Mistake #4: Ignoring good hygiene
Aside from the physical dangers you might find in a gym, there’s also those microscopic dangers that lurk. With the large number of people coming in and out of the gym every day, germs can be easily spread.
Make sure you bring a towel to keep yourself and the equipment dry. Then, when you’re finished with the equipment, use a disinfecting cloth or spray to clean it down for the next person.
Mistake #5: Exercising when you’re ill
Speaking of germs, there’s a fine line between exercising when you’re sick. If you have a little cold, a light workout can actually help you feel a lot better. But if you’re really sick (like with the flu or a fever), do NOT workout.
Working out when you’re weak and lethargic can do more harm than good for your body. Also, you could infect other people. Don’t be that guy. When you’re sick, stay at home, rest, and let your body recover.
Mistake #6: Overlooking gym etiquette
One of the best ways to avoid injuries (and headaches) in the gym is to treat everyone and everything in it respectfully.
For example, if someone is using the equipment you want, politely ask him or her if you could work in and be flexible. When you finish, always return your weights to the right place. If you sweat on the equipment, use a sanitizing cloth to disinfect the surfaces.
Gyms are a great place to get in shape, but can be rife with hazards. With our list of things to avoid, you’ll stay safe and continue on your path to great fitness.