So, you’ve decided to start getting healthy. You’re going to be ditching the double cheeseburgers and scrapping the salt, and instead of spending your free time on the sofa or at the pub, you’ll be making regular visits to the gym to burn some fat and build some muscle.
That’s great. Going to the gym is certainly a great way to keep fit, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s possible that you could hurt yourself. So don’t grab those weights just yet – read on and educate yourself on avoiding gym injuries.
Get Someone To Show You The Ropes
Make sure you get someone knowledgeable, ideally a personal trainer, to show you around the equipment, explaining how it works and how to use each machine safely. Any equipment with moving parts presents additional risks, so it’s essential to understand these. A personal trainer can also teach you the basics of proper technique, which will go a long way to helping you avoid injuries in the future.
Warm Up and Warm Down Properly
Warming up is crucial as it gets the blood flowing to your muscles and joints, stimulates your central nervous system, and raises your heart rate and body temperature in preparation for more intense physical activity. The ideal warm-up will depend on the kind of exercise you’re planning to do, but a light jog is usually a good start.
Jogging/walking might also be an essential feature of your warm-down process while stretching after your work out will help increase your flexibility and reduce the soreness in your muscles afterward.
Know Your Limits
If you’ve not been working out much lately, don’t start training like you’re hoping for a place in the next Olympics. Start slowly, and make gradual increases to the time spent on different activities, or the intensity of each exercise.
Some of the most common gym accidents include knee injuries, back strains, and groin strains. While these are often caused by misuse of equipment or over-exertion, another factor is often the imbalances caused by lack of activity, poor posture from working at a desk, etc. As such, it’s essential to work on all your muscle groups so that these imbalances can be reduced.
While there are risks associated with going to the gym, the health benefits outweigh any dangers, so don’t delay – start getting fit today!