There is more to working out then just lifting as much as you can for as long as you can until your arms being to burn: you need to be careful and cautious while you are working out with some regard for your own safety. If you enjoy working out a lot or are just getting started, you need to know that you can seriously injure yourself if you don’t pay close attention to how you are lifting, how much you are lifting, how you prepare for your exercises, and other small actions that you probably take for granted each session. Not to worry; here are some tips for you to work out safely:
Talk to a doctor or physical trainer before you even step into the gym. Even though you can probably work out if you feel healthy enough, some doctors may prevent you from doing so because of a long-term injury or some form of arthritis. If you go into a workout with such an injury, you can cause lasting harm to your body, so take an extra day or so to ask if you’re good to go.
Before you start pumping iron, running, or performing another exercise, you need to make sure that you are adequately stretched out so that you don’t pull a muscle. It’s much better to take ten minutes to stretch your body out than to have to sit out of your workouts for three weeks because of a hamstring injury. Touch your toes, put your arms over your head, and get loosened up for your workout. Additionally, be sure to include some stretching when you’ve finished your workout to prevent your muscles from tightening up.
When lifting, it is always important that you start by aiming for more repetitions of less weight; do not come into your first session seeing what the most weight you can lift is, for that is a common way to injure yourself. Just be patient and keep working for a few months, and you can gradually increase how much you do.
Listen to your body. No matter what exercise you’re doing, if you are in excruciating pain, running short of breath, feeling very lightheaded, or becoming dizzy, then you should at least take a break, get some water, and check yourself: are you feeling well enough to continue? Adding on to that, be sure to keep a water bottle close by during your workouts (this may be difficult while running outdoors, so that can be the exception). Dehydration kills.
If you choose to run after daylight, then you should wear reflective gear. You need to make sure that others, especially cars, can see you if you’re running close to the road. Sporting goods stores make lightweight jackets with reflective material on them, so acquiring this gear is no arduous task.
No matter what time of day you’re running outdoors, you should take a cellphone with you in case of an emergency. However, if you’re the braver type, don’t hesitate to carry some mace with you for protection (just clip it to your drawstring), and make sure that you can access it easily. After all, there’s more danger to working out besides hurting yourself: there are some pretty bad people out there.
To protect the health of those around you, you should wipe down the machines in the gym when you are done using them. Recently, MRSA outbreaks in high school fitness centers have been devastating, and the easiest way to prevent them is by using alcohol spray on the machines (pretty much every gym has at least one spray bottle) and wiping them. The whole thirty seconds worth of effort pays off.
Well, those are the seven tips for workout safety. Just be smart, patient, and use your common sense during your workouts. Enjoy!