Many gym owners in Homestead and other Florida cities report seeing an increase in new memberships at this time of year, and sales of exercise and sports equipment also tend to surge during the first few weeks of January as many people set up resolutions to get in shape, lose weight, and get healthier.
These can be great resolutions, but getting in shape the wrong way or exercising with the wrong sports or exercise equipment can and does lead to injuries in Homestead and other communities. To make sure that your new health program leads to a fitter you and not an injured you, be sure that you:
1) Ask plenty of questions before you join a gym.
Whether you are using a gym or personal trainer, ask questions. What practices are in place to ensure your safety? What services are available to ensure you don’t suffer an injury? Some gyms will do a health assessment before you start or offer a free session with a trainer to make sure you know how to use the exercise equipment. Others have valet parking or other services to ensure you can arrive and leave the gym safely. Find out about the services that can help you stay safer and use them. When comparing gyms, sports teams, or trainers, opt for the ones that have a clear commitment to your safety.
2) Check recall lists for any exercise equipment you buy or receive as a gift.
Whether you have bought a new treadmill at end-of-year sales or got an exercise bike for the holidays, check the equipment carefully for any signs of damage. Register the equipment with the manufacturer and be sure to check recall information to ensure that the equipment is safe.
3) Talk to your family doctor first.
Before you start any exercise program or diet, visit your doctor for advice. Depending on your fitness levels, your doctor may recommend avoiding certain exercises or may recommend starting slowly due to your overall fitness level. Exercising above your ability and fitness level can put you at risk of sprains, strains, and other injuries, so heed any warnings your doctor shares with you.
4) Set up and use your home gym equipment correctly.
Always carefully read and follow instructions that come with exercise equipment or sports equipment. Installing, setting up, or using equipment incorrectly can lead to sports injuries and property damage. If you’re not sure how to set up or use the equipment, call the manufacturer for information. If you have set up a whole home gym, you may want to set up a session with an experienced trainer who can give you some tips on proper form and use of the equipment.
5) Use proper safety equipment.
No matter what exercise program you follow, wear sturdy and supportive shoes that are designed for exercise or your sport. If you are playing a team sport, be sure to invest in the helmets, knee pads, and any other safety equipment you need to play safely. You are investing in your health and safety.
6) Check often to make sure sports and exercise equipment is in good shape and stored correctly.
Each time you put on your sports equipment or step up to a piece of exercise equipment, look it over quickly to make sure that it is un-damaged and safe to use. If you have your own home gym, make sure that the equipment is stored correctly. In many cases, incorrectly stored equipment can be dangerous. For example, the cords from a treadmill can be strangulation hazards for small children while exercise balls can be tripping hazards.
The attorneys at Flaxman Law Group wish you and your family a safe and happy 2015. No matter what your New Year’s resolutions are, we hope that the New Year brings you success and health. If you do sustain an injury at any time during the year, you can always reach our law offices in Hollywood, Homestead, and Miami to schedule a free consultation.