We’re all aware that working out can cause injuries such as sprains, strains and sore muscles. However, there are a number of surprising workout risks that most of us have never taken the time to consider. Before you hit the pavement (or the gym) for your next workout, take some time to learn how to keep yourself safe.
According to Women’s Health, earbuds are one of the top surprising dangers of working out for a variety of reasons. Wearing earbuds while exercising outdoors may increase your risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident. While you’re listening to your favorite tunes on your jog, you may not be paying as much attention to traffic while crossing the street. Your concentration on the songs in your headphones may also make you less aware of your surroundings in non-urban areas, leaving you a perfect target for an assault. To stay safe, stick to using your earbuds while running at the gym, and pay attention to your surroundings when you’re exercising outside. You’ll be safer, appear less vulnerable and you might just enjoy the scenery.
How well do you know the staff at your gym? Are they certified or qualified as instructors, and are they willing to show you documentation upon request? Does anyone on the premises know CPR, first aid and how to use the defibrillator if necessary? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, ask them the next time you visit. Find out before your next workout. It could be a matter of life and death if someone slips and falls, has a heart attack or seriously injures themselves at the gym.
Tripping, falling and injuring yourself is very possible while working out, yet none of us think about it until it actually happens. Play it safe and carefully monitor the area around you while you’re exercising. Move keys, water bottles, stray towels and any other loose items out of your area so that they don’t become tripping hazards. Pay careful attention to where you’re walking to avoid bumping into machinery or other gym members. While trips can sometimes be laughed off, they’re often more serious. They can lead to to sprained ankles, broken bones and more. Stay aware of your surroundings to help prevent injuries.
Your gym or fitness club is used by hundreds of other people each day, and you don’t know whether they’re healthy or not. Moist, warm workout areas can easily harbor bacteria and fungi, so be sure to protect yourself. Wipe down all exercise machines before you use them, and wear shower shoes for your after-workout shower. In addition, carry hand sanitizer with you and use it regularly. Anywhere people gather, viruses and bacteria do, as well, so do your best to protect yourself. After all, none of us want to spend a week down with the flu or wondering where we picked up a nasty case of athlete’s foot.
If you’re dehydrated or not used to working out on a regular basis, it’s easy to become overheated. Heat exhaustion occurs after several days of exposure to high temperatures. You become dehydrated, and experience either water depletion or salt depletion. Without treatment, heat stroke can occur. Heat stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when the body reaches a core temperature of 105 degrees, and can be accompanied by dizziness, seizures or fainting. If left untreated, in severe cases, heat stroke can lead to death.
If you’re exercising outdoors, or in a non-temperature controlled environment, heat exhaustion and heat stroke becomes a very real possibility, no matter how athletic you are. As the temperature goes up, be sure to drink enough water. If you feel overly hot or flushed, weak, or dizzy, take a break and sit down until you feel better. Avoid exercising outdoors in hot weather, as you can quickly develop heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
While not every workout is an accident waiting to happen, exercising does have its risks. By taking the time to pay attention to your surroundings, making sure that the equipment you’re using is safe and hygienic, and hydrating yourself properly, you can prevent many problems before they have a chance to occur. To ensure good health, make preventing these dangerous risks a key part of your exercise routine.