How to Prevent Gym Injuries and Illnesses | The Emergency Center

4 Gym Injuries and Illnesses You Can Prevent

Take some simple steps to prevent gym injuries and illnesses from derailing your New Year’s resolution to get fit.

1. Ankle Sprains

Treadmills are a hot spot for ankle sprains. To prevent a sprain, keep your feet on the deck on either side of the belt as it starts moving, and never step off while the belt is in motion. Keep your head up while running or walking to maintain balance.

You can strengthen your ankles for running with the following exercise: Sit on the floor and stretch your legs out in front of you. Rotate your ankles in circles five to 10 times. Perform this exercise at least three times daily.

2. Bone Breaks

Gyms can be distracting places, with all the equipment, activity, and screens to keep you occupied. All those distractions can lead to falls that result in fractures.

During your workout, stay focused on the task at hand rather than chatting with the person on the next machine or getting engrossed in what’s on the overhead TV. If you are doing strength training exercises, keep your workout area clear of water bottles, weights, and other items that pose a tripping hazard.

3. Muscle Strains

Lifting weights can strain muscles in your wrists, low back, and neck. To benefit from weightlifting without pushing your muscles too far, stretch before you lift. Also, work up to heavy weights, and use a spotter and proper technique. A straight back is also essential. Finally, don’t overdo it. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, strength-training exercises, such as weightlifting, tend to be most effective when you perform three sets of 12 repetitions.

4. Infections

Gyms are hospitable environments for germs, what with all the people exercising (and sweating) in a shared equipment. Methicillin-resistant Staphyloccocus aureus, more commonly known as MRSA, and other rash-causing bacteria and fungi are among the most common infections gym-goers encounter.

Don’t give germs easy access to your body. Keep sores and/or cuts covered while you exercise. Use a disinfectant wipe to clean treadmill handles and consoles, stationary bike handles and seats, weights, and other equipment before you use them. Never walk barefoot in the shower or locker room, either.

If an injury cuts your workout short, we have locations in Arlington, Fort Worth, and San Antonio open 24 hours a day, every day, to help you get back to the activity you love.

Sources: bones.nih.gov, consumerreports.org, consumerreports.org, familydoctor.org, familydoctor.org, healthcare.utah.edu, heart.orgmedlineplus.gov, orthoinfo.aaos.org