The new year is a time for resolutions. For many individuals, these resolutions involve increasing physical activity and focusing on their health. Avoiding accidents at the gym is important for individuals desiring to avoid injury and keep their fitness resolutions throughout the new year. However, the rise in individuals exercising at fitness centers means a greater likelihood of an accident occurring at the gym. Across the country, thousands of people are injured each year in gyms and exercise classes. While exercise is an important component in maintaining health and well-being, it is important to be aware of common risks and hazards that exist to avoid accidents at the gym.

Weightlifting Machines

Avoiding accidents at the gym begins with understanding that not all machines are safe to use. This is true even when they are functioning properly. There are many weightlifting machines that exist in gyms that health professionals suggest avoiding entirely. It is recommended that individuals refrain from using cable pull-downs, which are known to damage the upper spine. Likewise, seated crunch machines, abdominal rotation machines, and machine abductors can hurt the lower back. Further, it is suggested that individuals seek a trainer before using any of these types of weightlifting machines to avoid potential injury.

Malfunctioning Equipment

If exercise equipment is old or defective, there is an increased likelihood of injury. At busy gyms, machines are used by many members a day, leading to deterioration and malfunction. While gym staff should regularly inspect their machines, it is not uncommon for some malfunctions to go undetected. Individuals are encouraged to alert staff immediately if there is a problem with the equipment to avoid the potential for injury.

High Intensity Classes

The increased popularity of Crossfit and bootcamp style classes create the risk of serious injury for individuals who are not physically fit.  Participants who are overexerting themselves may forget to use proper form and hurt themselves while trying to keep up with the instructor. It is recommended that individuals take a class that is suited to their level of fitness. This ensures for a better work out, as well as reducing the chance for injury to the neck, back and shoulders.

Infections

Cardio equipment, yoga mats and weights can be a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause athlete’s foot, warts and brittles nails. Individuals can prevent infection by wiping down any shared equipment both before and after use. It is suggested that individuals never walk around barefoot and always wear flip-flops in the locker room shower as well as around the pool. Avoid towels that have come into contact with the floor, as it could result in the transfer of bacteria to the body.

Tripping and Falling

Individuals can protect themselves from trip-and-fall accidents by being aware of the hazards that exist in the gym such as free weights, gym bags, and slippery surfaces in the locker room and around the pool. It is important for individuals to remain aware of their surroundings especially as they run, jump, and carry objects around a crowded gym.

Wittmer|Linehan understands the importance of maintaining physical health and wants you to keep your new year’s fitness resolution by avoiding accidents at the gym. In the unfortunate event that you are injured at the gym, our experienced attorneys will help you obtain the compensation that you deserve. Call us at (941) 365-2296 for a free consultation.