What’s the number one rule in pretty much everything? Safety first! The gym is especially no exception to this. I truly believe safety should always be on the forefront of everyone’s mind when they are working out. Preventing injury is vital to sticking with a routine. If you get hurt and have to take a break for a week, month, or 4 months, it can be like climbing Mt. Everest to get back on track. Some people never come back from an injury. I don’t want to scare anyone, I just want to make sure that we are all taking this as seriously as we should be. Here are a few quick safety tips we should all remember to incorporate.
Always have a spotter when you’re lifting heavy weights. Especially during bench press, squats, shoulder presses, etc. I’ve seen it too many times where people either can’t lift the weight up off themselves or it falls. Very bad. If you’re at the gym alone, don’t be afraid to ask for a spot from those around you and return the favor if you ever see someone in need.
Remember to keep proper form throughout the whole movement. Try to keep a neutral spine, engage your core, don’t strain your neck or shoulders, and lift with those legs! When doing movements like dead lifts, make sure your spine is straight, not rounded. On lunges, make sure your front knee doesn’t go past your toes, it should be a 90 degree angle. Never compromise form for more weight.
If you run/walk outside, try to take a buddy with you or even your dog. Some folks only run alone, so if you’re one of those people, try to do it when it’s light out and not too far from the main trail. If you’re running at night, wear bright colored clothes (not black) and it’s worth it to invest in some reflective gear or lights to hook on you. Be careful during the winter months with running outside. If it’s icy or snowy, you might want to just run on the treadmill that day. Also, on the days when it’s really smoggy outside, I would highly recommend running/exercising inside. Your lungs will greatly appreciate it!
Be sure you’re eating and drinking enough to give you the energy and hydration you need. If you’re getting your exercise through a sport, have the proper gear. Bikers (mountain or road) please wear a helmet! Do a small warm-up before diving into any exercise to prevent pulled muscles. Get sufficient rest in-between workouts and don’t overdo it.
Taking these small, extra precautions is critical for each of us. There is nothing is worse than getting injured from working out. Not only is it the most frustrating thing in the world, but it also sets you back. Everyone needs a little reminder to brush up on their safety, so here is yours! Now go have a SAFE workout!