Going on a diet without working out is like competing at a Formula One race with a Minica. You will probably get to the finish line, but it will take you much more time to get there. Needless to say, the gym is an inevitable part of the routine for anyone who wants to get fit. And while it working out looks straightforward enough, many forget that it is not impossible to get a gym injury if one does not pay attention to safety. To avoid mishaps in the gym, take note of these simple safety reminders:
Wear the Right Gear
Choosing the right workout gear not only ensures your comfort, it ensures your safety as well. For starters, wear actual athletic shoes (not sneakers!) when hitting the gym since they have better floor traction, and lessen your risk of slipping. If you lift (and you should), consider investing in a pair of gym gloves. They not only help to improve your grip on the free weight, but they also help to prevent the development of hand blisters or calluses.
Don’t Skip the Warm Up
Sure, skipping your warm up will save you time, but it can also cause injuries like cramps. When you skip warm up, you’re essentially jolting your muscles into action and not giving your body enough time to properly release the chemicals necessary to sustain intense muscle activity. Start your workouts with a short session on the stationary bike or treadmill to get blood flowing to your muscles, which helps loosen them up. Then do a bit of stretching, focusing on major muscle groups like your chest, back and legs, then smaller muscles like your shoulders and triceps.
Master Equipment and Proper Form
Using a new type of equipment for the first time? Ask the gym personnel for instructions. There is nothing more counterproductive than exercising bad form. Not only are you putting yourself in danger of an injury, you are minimizing the effectiveness of your workouts. Gym regular? Read your equipment’s instructions, anyway—it’s better to be safe than sorry. Technogym’s Purestrength line, for example has visual guidelines that help users properly use the machinery.
Know Thy Limits
What’s the point of benching 150 lbs. if you’ll only end up injuring yourself? Remember, you’re not in the gym to show off; you’re there to improve yourself. Always start with lower weights and repetitions, then slowly work your way up as your body gains more strength and endurance for more challenging exercises. Listen to your body—never ask it to do more work than what it’s ready for.
Have a Spotter
As much as possible, have a spotter assist you while you’re lifting weights. They can step in before you have a chance to drop a weight on yourself, either due to muscle fatigue or because you picked up a weight that’s too heavy for you.
Re-rack those Weights
When gym-goers are “in the zone,” they may not notice the scattered weights or plates on the floor, which might cause them to trip and be injured. As a courtesy to others and as your contribution to promoting safety in the gym, be sure to re-rack all weights after using them.
Give it a Rest
Believe it or not, muscle development doesn’t actually occur during workouts–it happens during rest, when your body has the chance to reinforce the muscles you’ve just used. Work them out too much, though, and you’ll end up overstraining or injuring those muscles. Hence, have at least a day’s rest between gym sessions to give your muscles enough time to recover and grow.
With proper preparation and knowledge, your gym workouts will surely be fun, productive and injury free. To know more about Technogym’s superior gym equipment, simply visit: esports.ph.
Photo 1 from Andrea Williams via Flickr. CC BY NC ND 2.0.
Photo 2,3,4,6 from Technogym.com
Photo 5 from Pixabay.com. CC0 1.011
Photo 7 from Flickr, via The May Firm. CC BY 2.0.