Out of the top 10 most common New Year’s resolutions, exercising more and losing weight are often right at the top. Hitting the gym can satisfy both of these, and it’s not uncommon for gyms to fill up come January. Staying fit is a great resolution to have as long as you’re working out safely. Keeping yourself protected from muscle injuries and using equipment cautiously are two important pieces to starting your exercise routine in the new year.
To prevent muscle strain, make sure to warm up, cool down, drink lots of water, and wear the right shoes and clothing. If you’re new to the gym, consider a few sessions with a personal trainer. Learn how to properly exercise and stretch, along with what an appropriate number of reps or weights to use as you exercise.
Additionally, there’s tons of equipment in today’s gyms, and getting injured while operating any of it can be serious. It also might not be the result of user error. If you find yourself sustaining a personal injury while on gym equipment, it’s important to document the particulars of your situation. This helps establish if the cause is more than user error or a simple accident.
How to keep yourself safe on gym equipment
Falling off heavy equipment can lead to a head injury, broken bones, or even a contact burn on your arm or leg. Minimize the chance of these injuries, through taking the proper precautions when using gym equipment, such as:
- Use safety clips with all free weights to ensure the weights don’t slide off the bar.
- Give yourself plenty of room when working out so you don’t bump into someone else or accidentally hit someone with a piece of equipment.
- Check equipment before you use it to make sure everything is properly locked into place. For treadmills and similar machines, make sure the safety release is properly installed.
- Inspect equipment for any frayed or damaged cables or pulleys before use.
- Never workout completely alone. Working out with a partner or ensuring a staff member is close by adds another set of eyes on any potentially dangerous situation.
For treadmills and other similar equipment, a few extra precautions can help avoid injury, including:
- Looking forward to minimize risk of falling or losing footing.
- Avoiding the use of handrails for your entire workout. They can actually throw you off balance.
- Wearing the right shoes; no bare feet.
- Waiting for equipment to stop being in motion before stepping off.
Before trying a new piece of equipment, make sure you really know how to use it. Even if the instructions seem straightforward, don’t hesitate to ask a staff member for a demo.
Instances where a gym might be at fault for your injury
Taking all the precautions above can help protect you from certain personal injuries at the gym. However, you may find yourself hurt as a result of improper management of the gym itself. It’s important to distinguish between the two if you sustain an injury while working out. Some scenarios where the gym might be at fault include:
- Improper spacing between equipment. If machines are set up too close together you could experience an increased risk of bumping into a machine while it’s in use. This can lead to a variety of injuries for you and possibly the person on the machine.
- Hard to read instructions. Failure of your gym to provide useful and legible instructions for how to use equipment can lead to improper operation and subsequent injury. In your home gym, instructions that are hard to interpret can even lead to incorrect installation of equipment.
Get the legal help you need if hurt at the gym
We hope that you’re able to stick with your New Year’s resolution to improve your health this year, but should an exercise-related injury occur, contacting an accomplished personal injury attorney can help you accurately assess fault. Once that’s done, they can assist you in determining the next course of action.
At The Patterson Cozzo Law Firm, our attorneys have managed an extensive array of personal injury lawsuits with the goal of getting clients the best outcome possible. It all starts with a free consultation. Contact us today to get the support and advice you need.