Seven dangers that lurk in your gym

Gold's gym, Kandivali

Gold’s gym, Kandivali in Mumbai

As more urban populace heads towards gyms to avoid increasing obesity and fitness worries, more and more gyms are cropping up in cities as well as across small towns. Many accidents are reported occurring at the gyms with some even leading to hospitalisations and serious injuries. According to a study by, as many as half-a-million people were injured while exercising in 2012. In the United States, the same organisation conducted a study in 2013, which said that 10,000 people landed in the emergency rooms every day due to injury stemming from sports, recreation and exercise. While there are dangers, there are also ways to avoid gym accidents.

Here are few things to look out for, to avoid an accident in a gym.

1)            Trips and falls: Public gyms also mean a lot of mess created by its patrons. One should be on the lookout for left out water bottles, or weights or other such equipment that could roll and hurt. Choose a relatively quiet corner before doing push-ups and jumping exercises.

2)            Sprains: These are the most common side-effect of gymming. Avoid sudden moves or being over-excited while using gym equipment such as cycles or while doing the stretching exercise. These can lead to strained body parts and sprains.

3)            Improper exercise selection: Each gym has different standards when it comes to weights and the intensity of their equipment. A trainer should always be consulted before choosing a form of exercise, especially those that involve ab-crunching and adding on weights to the equipment. One should also keep a watch on one’s own blood pressure and vital statistics before trying an exercise.

4)            Unqualified staff: If you sense a staff member who is either not experienced or displays ignorance about an exercise regime, report it to the gymnasium management immediately. Unqualified staff and their ill-informed advice can lead to unwanted complications.

5)            Infections: Sweaty gymmers leave behind much more than desired at a gym. As many people visit it, there is a chance of infection and the risk of contracting diseases if the gym management does not clean the equipment after every shift. It is a good idea to wipe seating and other areas before use, and advisable to use personal towels.

6)            Look for broken equipment: The wear-and-tear of public gymming equipment should not be under-estimated. As hundreds of people work on the same tread mill, it is always advised to check the equipment especially heavy equipment before using it. A loose part can end up in a serious injury.

7)          Quality of flooring: Last but not the least, a good quality flooring that allows a soft landing in case of falls, and a good base for your exercises is extremely important. Since trips are very common, a good gym floor which is preferably rubberised can save you from impact-based injury. The gym floor should also have anti-slip qualities to ensure there is less chance of falling.