There’s no question that working out at a gym can have incredible benefits for anyone, including increased strength, access to first-rate equipment, and professionals who can help you use machines and find the best routine for you. However, that’s not to say that using a gym is stress or danger free, and as any fitness enthusiast knows, there are some safety tips to which you must adhere. Here are three such examples.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Gyms are often crowded places that are filled with other people and complicated machinery. Thanks to headphones and the rush of heavy lifting and advanced cardio, it can get all too easy to get lost in your own world. While it’s important to get into a flow when you go to the gym, you can’t lose track of your surroundings. Always keep in mind proper gym etiquette; be aware of where people are, who is lifting, their likely pathways to machinery, and how someone will be moving in the course of an exercise. The last thing you want to do is get in someone’s way while he or she is lifting heavy equipment.

Dress Right for Your Workout

You can’t just dress in any clothing at the gym. What you wear should be comfortable to maximize flexibility and reduce your chances of damaging the machinery. Don’t wear any clothing that you can trip on, and make sure that your clothing fits appropriately. Keep your shoes tied at all times, and make sure to keep your footwear in good condition, so you don’t risk tripping and falling. Here’s another issue to consider. With 150,000 people a year suffering from ring avulsion, it’s important to avoid wearing a traditional wedding band while working out.

Familiarize Yourself With the Equipment

Before you use any piece of equipment, make sure you understand how it works. This means taking a moment to understand how you are supposed to move, what muscles you are supposed to be exercising, ways in which the exercise can go wrong, and how to prevent that from happening. Furthermore, most pieces of gym equipment have components that prevent injuries, such as locking mechanisms for weights. Before using any piece of equipment, make sure you read the instructions that are usually pasted onto the machine, and make sure you understand how the equipment operates. Using the gym isn’t a risk-free endeavor, but there are things you can do to minimize the possibility of you injuring yourself. Follow these three tips, and you’ll be well on your way to having a safe trip to the gym.

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