Most New Year’s resolutions include some type of fitness goal. Whether it be to shed a couple of pounds, gain muscle, or tone areas of our body the new year brings about some desire to get fit. New Year’s fitness resolutions usually accompany an increase in gym memberships. Although some people give up on their fitness goals relatively quickly, others still continue to work it out and sweat it out. During the month of February, most people are still making trips to the gym and sticking to their regime. A gym can be an environment where personal developments can take place, however it can also be a place where serious injuries can occur.

Taking steps to living a healthy lifestyle can be a great experience, but injuring yourself while in the process can taint that experience. Below are some simple tips to follow that can make your experience in the gym a pleasant one.

Understand the machines

Before you strap yourself onto an elliptical or hop onto the treadmill develop an understanding of how the machine works. Locate where the pause, incline, and speed buttons are. Knowing how to properly operate the machinery can significantly reduce the likelihood of injury

Understand your body

Many gym injuries are a result of people pushing their bodies over the limit. Be kind to your body while working out. Always stay hydrated and take necessary breaks. Know your weakness and workout accordingly, if you have weak ankles stay away from machinery that can easily injure them. If you have weak knees limit your time on the treadmill or other machines that can put pressure on them.

Hire a personal trainer

For people who have little to no experience with matters of fitness and health it is recommended to hire a personal trainer. Personal trainers are experienced and qualified individuals who can help you achieve your fitness goals. Personal trainers can create a workout regime that considers your body type, age, lifestyle, and responds to your fitness goals. Often time working out on your own does not produce the same results as you would working with a trained professional. Additionally, working alongside a personal trainer can prevent you from harming yourself.

Do not try to impress anyone

This nugget of advice can fall in the same category as understanding your body. When working out at the gym it is not a requirement to impress anybody during your workout. You do not have to increase the speed on your treadmill to outrun the person next to you. No one expects you to do an obscene amount of leg lifts with no breaks in between. Work at a pace that is comfortable for you. Take breaks when your body needs them. You could end up with a strained muscle or something far worse trying to impress the person occupying the machine next to you.

If you have sustained a personal injury while at the gym, feel free to contact us at Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP.