Going regularly to the gym is a great way for getting a toned, trim body. But gym workouts should match with your specific fitness goals. Exercise can prevent diseases, reduce weight, lower blood pressure, lower high blood sugar and cholesterol levels, increase energy levels, improve endurance and make us live longer. However, exercising may also make us prone to injuries.
Injury increases with a lot of factors. Some of these factors include unqualified staff, equipment malfunction, improper exercise, falls, sprains and strains, and infections. We can avoid these risks for injury if we take certain precautions, as said in the tips that follow:
Train with a Professional
If you are new to the gym, walk around and familiarize yourself with the equipment. It is a good idea to meet with your trainer to discuss your personal goals and exercise programs, and the usage of specific pieces of equipment. With proper safety procedures for using gym equipment in mind, you can prevent injuries to your body and work on the correct set of muscles. Do not let go off machines too quickly as this may cause accidents.
Warm Up Before and Cool Down After
These are the important steps of any exercise the regimen. Warm-ups and stretching increases blood flow, loosens your muscles, and prepares your body for a workout. If you do not warm up, you will end up putting a strain on your muscles, resulting in injuries. Similarly, once you have done a rigorous workout, you need to cool your body for 3 to 5 minutes so that your heart rate normalizes and your muscles relax.
Gradually Move to a Higher Gear
Do not let the drive for toning your body put you in a position of carrying on high intensity workouts when you are not used to it. You will merely end up hurting yourself and eventually falling back on your exercise schedule. Rather than burning up quickly, you should ease into your workout schedule gradually and listen to your body.
For strength training, you can start with lighter weights and increase the reps and sets before increasing the weights which shouldn’t be more than 10% of what your body can handle. Cardio exercises require you to increase the work and time on your body before increasing your exertion level and speed.
Maintain a Straight Posture
When you are at gym, see if you can workout in front of a mirror. Doing so will help in maintain a good posture while you exercise. Straighten out your shoulder blades and do not hunch while exercising. Your knees and elbows should be soft through the workout so that they are not hyper-extended.
While Lifting Weights
Strength training exercises require certain safety tips including:
- Do not hold your breath while lifting weights
- Do not lock your joints as this would put them under strain
- Keep both hands at an equal distance from the center of the bar when using free weights
- Have a spotter tell you how well you are doing the exercise
- Avoid putting pressure on your teeth
- Pay attention to your breathing
- When pick up the weight from the ground, you should squat down, bend at the knees and bring your butt down. When you lift up the weight, push it up with your legs. This will prevent you from any back injuries.
Before you can concentrate on exercising at the gym, get a check-up from your doctor to see which exercises would suit your health.
Choose Your Gym
Make sure that the gym that you go into has properly trained personnel. Some gym staff members who call themselves fitness trainers or instructors actually have no training. You should ask if their certificates and degrees are current. The staff should also have training on CPR and first aid.
Check Your Equipment
Injuries sometimes stem from improper equipment. Remember that there are a lot of people who use equipment aside from you so that these cannot escape every day wear and tear. Wear and tear may later on lead to malfunction, and you could be at risk for injuries. To avoid the risk for injury, ask gym staff if damaged equipment is repaired as soon as possible and whether they do quality checks on their equipment every now and then. You can also play a role by reporting to staff when you see damaged equipment.
Do Proper Exercise
Choosing improper exercise can also lead to injuries. Ask the help of a personal trainer in choosing what exercises are best for you and your goal. You should also warm up before exercise and cool down after exercising. Warming up should be done for 30 minutes and may consist of light exercises such as walking, jogging or stretching. Cooling down also takes up 30 minutes after exercising and also consists of light exercise. Also, talk to your doctor whether the exercises you plan to do are right for you and your health condition.
You should wear proper apparel while exercising. Also, wear shoes which will prevent you from tripping over and getting sprains or strains. You should also bring a water bottle with you and hydrate before, during and after exercise. Be careful when you go around showers, pools and hot tubs. Keep keys or other objects away from you while you exercise.
The risk of infection may increase in crowded places. This is because disease-causing fungi or bacteria may breed in wet areas such as showers and swimming pools. Towels, locker room floors, cardio machines and benches may also serve as breeding grounds for these microorganisms.
Exercising indoors is not a guarantee that you will be safe from sprains, falls and other injuries. There are also some factors which increase injury even when you are working out inside the gym. Following these simple tips however, ensures that you are able to