Stay Safe While Working Out

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It’s gonna be hard to appreciate gains if you break your limbs.

When I was a kid, the first time I stepped into my dad’s homemade gym in the basement, my immediate first instinct was to start climbing over and jumping on everything like a spider monkey. It looked exactly like a playground, so you could hardly blame me, but my dad quickly put the kibosh on that. Exercise can be a very fun, entertaining process, but it can also be potentially dangerous one. If you approach your safety half-heartedly, you could end up seriously injured or worse.

Major fitness rule number one: space: have a lot of it. Whether its an errant corner of a large machine or just a dumbbell someone left on the floor, the last thing you need while you’re trying to lift weights or do aerobics is to bash your foot against a hard, immovable object. Not only is this a great way to hurt your toes, but if you’re holding something heavy, you could lose your balance and fall over, or worse, drop it. Make sure all of your exercise equipment is as spaced-out as you can manage, and keep your gym’s floors as clear of clutter as possible. Racks aren’t just for organizing weights, they’re for keeping them out of your way.

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Rule number two: when lifting something heavy, have a spotter. Whether you’re bench pressing or deadlifting, you should always have a spotter on hand to aid you in case your grip slips or your arms give out. You could be seriously hurt if you’re pinned down by weights. If you don’t have a spotter available, then you might want to hold off on the big stuff until one is.

Finally, rule number three: always utilize electronic safety features. Treadmills and such usually have built-in safety features, like that red clip you pin to your shirt. Those things aren’t fashion statements, they’re there to stop the machine in case you fall over. Yeah, some of these things can feel like a hassle, but it’s all in the name of good health in the end.