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9 Steps to Gym Safety

his post was authored by Elizabeth Crim, an On-site Early Intervention Specialist with ATI Worksite Solutions in Indianapolis.

22nd MEU Marines dominate Bataan weight-lifting competition 140420-M-HZ646-111

Before your workout:

  1. Be sure you are well hydrated. Drink 17-20 oz. of water or a sports drink 2-3 hours before working out and drink 7-10 oz. of water or a sports drink 10-20 minutes before exercise.
  2. Have a proper warm-up time. For a cardio workout, spend 3-5 minutes at a lower intensity before beginning your workout. If you are doing strength training, 3-5 minutes on a cardio machine will help get the blood flowing to your muscles.

During your workout:

  1. Be sure to use good technique. Proper technique will help to decrease your chance of an injury. Have someone check your form to be sure you are doing it properly. If you are unsure of how to use a piece of equipment, be sure to ask the gym staff.
  2. Drink 7-10 oz. of water every 10-20 minutes to stay hydrated.
  3. Be sure the area is clear of anything you may trip over while doing your moves.
  4. After you are done with the equipment, be sure to wipe it down to help prevent the spread of germs. Most gyms have disinfectant wipes.
  5. Treadmills, exercise bikes, and weight machine all have moving parts and there is a risk of pinching and crushing your fingers and toes if you aren't paying attention. Make sure pins and collars are used properly on weight machines and barbells. Be aware of who is working out around you.

After your workout:

  1. Have a proper cool down period. For cardio workouts, take 5 minutes and go at a lighter intensity. After any workout, be sure to take 5-10 minutes to stretch your muscles.
  2. Be sure to rehydrate. For most workouts, water should be consumed to replenish the fluids lost. However, if you have an intense workout or workout for longer than 1 hour, Gatorade would be a better option.

References:

www.livestrong.com

www.nata.org

http://walking.about.com