John Basedow: The gym is great if you are trying to get in shape, but do you know about the risks? Here are the most common gym health hazards to avoid.
The very equipment you use to exercise can actually put you in danger. Injuries can happen when you don't know how to use a new machine or when older machines breakdown. Follow each machine's instructions and alert the staff immediately if you see any fraying cables or broken equipment.
Sometimes injuries occur when you don't use the right form or attempt the wrong exercise. Make sure you learn how each exercise is preformed and if it's right for you skill level you can get help from certified trainers, qualified gym staff and many online resources.
Even when you've mastered a fitness routine too much weight or intensity can cause a painful injury. You know your body and you know your limits. If something doesn't feel right, stop the action immediately. If an exercise leaves you with abnormal aches and pains, don't suffer in silence, seek help to avoid further damaging the injured area.
And finally, don't let germs and bacteria in the gym get you sick. Wipe down equipment before and after use and never go barefoot in the locker room or shower. Make sure pools, saunas and hot tubs have regular chemical balance checkups before you dive in. Hand sanitizer is great at keeping germs at bay, but stay home when you are stick and suggest fellow gym members do the same.
When you know the common health hazards, you can spend your time getting fit, instead of worrying about the risks.