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The 4 Commandments of Gym Safety

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January 10, 2017

Gym membership: acquired. Workout gear: donned.

You march in the door with a purpose in your step, a sparkle in your eye, and extra deodorant in your gym bag. Maybe you’ve even signed up for the Plexus® 60 Day Trim Up, so you’re in the running for one of our a-MAZ-ing prizes like Plexus products, shopping sprees and an all-expenses paid VIP Disney experience.

You’ve conquered the hardest part—getting to the gym. But what are you supposed to do with your glorious self, now that you’ve gotten yourself there? Before you get your sweat on, you need to understand the basic rules of keeping safe and healthy in this sort of dynamic, challenging environment.

Commandment 1. Tie up loose ends

Keep those gorgeous locks tied back while you’re in the gym. Anything loose and flowing can get caught on moving parts in the exercise machines or even on hand weights. The same thing goes for oversized or too bagging clothing. You’ll thank us for this suggestion when you’re not begging gym staff to disentangle you from your elliptical’s handlebars or a neighboring weight machine.

Commandment 2. Know your space

Speaking of moving parts, the gym is full of them—they’re called people!

With people constantly criss-crossing between cardio machines, through the weight machines, or scrumming for that one non-ratty yoga mat in the group fitness room, there’s always potential for a collision. Pay attention to your surroundings and look before you swing your weights (or body!) around or start moving through a space where someone else might be doing the same thing.

Oh, and if you’re single—the more aware you are of your environment, the easier it’ll be to run into that attractive weightlifter passing by…on purpose.

Commandment 3. Form matters

Speaking of good-looking weightlifters, it can be awfully tempting to pick the heaviest weight possible and start flinging it around. After all, that looks kinda impressive, right?

Nope. Getting hurt isn’t cute and people who really know what they’re doing won’t be impressed by seeing you flail big weights around. Instead focus on good form instead. Dial the weight or exercise intensity back enough to keep your movements challenging but under control. Two awesome things will happen. One, you’ll look great! (Go on, check yourself out in the mirror—we think you’ll like what you see.) Two, you’ll trim up faster because you’re making your body do more of the work, instead of using momentum.

This applies to anything you might do in the gym from weightlifting to body-weight exercises to the treadmill. Once you find that doing the exercise with good form isn’t as challenging as it used to be, you can dial up the intensity (or weight).

Commandment 4. Stay warm…and cool

We get it: Everybody’s in a hurry, especially during the holidays, the school year, the summer, before work, after work, and during your lunch break. So, pretty much all the time, every day. As tempting as it might be to skip the five- to 10-minute warmup before you work out and five to 10 minutes of cooling down after, you must resist!

Think of the warmup like the on-ramp for a highway: it makes it way easier for your body to get up to speed smoothly. The cooldown is the exit ramp, which gives your body time to adjust back to everyday life.

Taking those extra few minutes will make your workout easier on your heart, feel easier, and is a great excuse to zen out and spend ten minutes listening to your favorite music or watching a TV show.

posted 8 months ago

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