Q: “I recently signed up to a new gym. I am afraid of getting injured like a few of my friends did. Can you please give some tips on how to prevent injuries?”

A: There are a number of factors that commonly lead to new gym members sustaining injuries. Here are my top 5 tips on preventing injuries in the gym.

  1. Ease in to your new training program. Overtraining is an almost certain way of developing an injury. New gym members are often very keen to try out all the classes and equipment, and attend gym every day. Enthusiasm is fantastic, however, there are risks associated with rapidly increasing your training. Activity levels should be increased gradually.
  2. Care for your past injuries. If you have had an injury in the past, that body area may still be susceptible to injury, especially if you have not addressed the underlying cause. It is a good idea for new gym members to have a pre-exercise evaluation with your physio or health professional before starting gym, especially if you have had past injuries.
  3. Get help. Many people in gyms use equipment in weird and wonderful ways, and often it makes me shudder with fear for their wellbeing. This point is simple – have a couple of sessions with your gym’s personal trainer. They are usually very affordable and the long term benefits are exponential.
  4.  Don’t skimp out on good footware. Some of the most common gym injuries we see are related to foot problems. Shin splints, Achilles tendinopathy and plantar fasciitis to name a few. Most of the time these  could have been prevented with appropriate footware or orthotic insoles. Scarborough Physiotherapy offers FREE computerised walking assessments (valued at $80) for readers of MyTown, so call today and ensure your feet don’t cause your next injury.
  5. Don’t put up with pain. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Time and time again, people wait months before coming and finding out what is causing their pain. By then, more damage is done. As a general rule, if you have any pain after a workout, other than general muscle soreness, make sure you are assessed by your physiotherapist as soon as possible.

For more information on injury prevention or fixing your injury properly, call Scarborough Physiotherapy on 3880 1649. Private health insurance rebates are available on all services; including physiotherapy, orthotics, Pilates, massage and Psychology. To have your question answered in an upcoming issue of My Town, please email [email protected], or leave a message on our Facebook wall.

Mitch Hamer, BPhty, APAM

Note: this article appeared in the 7th edition of Redcliffe’s own digital interactive My Town Magazine. Links to this article and other editions can be found at http://www.all-inpublications.com.au/