Every day thousands join a gym for the first time. You may be one of them. You’ve decided to take a proactive approach towards your health and fitness, and that’s very good. However, while the gym equipment is beneficial, it can also be dangerous if used incorrectly.

Here’s a quick guide to staying safe in the gym.

Get to know the equipment

The key to gym safety is to learn how to use the equipment properly. Some items at fitness centres are relatively easy to get to grips with and it can make good sense to start with those. One downside of that mentality, though, can be a tendency to avoid equipment that you don’t know how to use.

If you want to use a machine, but aren’t sure how it works, then ask a member for staff to train you. You run the risk of injury if you jump on it without proper training.

Know your limits

When you’re first starting out, you’re likely to be full of motivation and want to push yourself as far as you can. That’s great – you need to push to achieve your goals. Nevertheless, you also need to know your limits. You risk injury if you push yourself too hard.

Be aware of what’s going on around you

When you’re in the zone, you're not really paying much attention to everything that’s going on around you. So, whether you’re throwing medicine balls or lifting weights, make sure that you have the room to do it. Not only do you want to avoid invading someone’s personal space, you don’t want to harm then either!

Check the equipment

Before you jump on a bike or treadmill, or any piece of equipment for that matter, check it over. At many gyms, the equipment comes under heavy use and it isn’t uncommon for items to become damaged without staff realising.

Quick checks would include things like the following:

Is the seat locked in?
Are the pedals scure?
D
oes it look like something might fall off?

If the equipment doesn’t look safe, let a member of staff know and move to another machine.

Know your body

If something feels different, or if you’re feeling dizzy or nauseous, stop your workout. You might have pushed yourself too hard, or it could be another underlying cause. If you’re unsure, it’s better to stop, as forcing yourself through an issue could make it worse.