Working out is an important component of a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, not everyone who goes to the gym knows how to work out in a safe manner. And if you don’t take the time to educate yourself on dangerous gym habits, you could find yourself sitting on the bench. Although an entire course on proper workout techniques is too much for one blog, we’d like to make you aware of some of the most common dangerous gym habits occurring in gyms across America.
Five Dangerous Gym Habits
- One of the most dangerous gym habits is taking muscle stimulants. This is an extremely popular habit among athletes and bodybuilders, but they can have serious consequences that can keep you out of the gym permanently. The FDA has warned against consuming dimethylamylamine (DMAA), because it causes an increase in blood pressure and can eventually lead to a heart attack, shortness of breath and tightening of the chest. By 2013 the FDA had received word of 86 illnesses associated with DMAA. So before you decide that you want to take a muscle stimulant, ask yourself if you’re willing to risk your heart health.
- Another dangerous gym habit is beginning a lifting routine without a trainer. If you begin lifting without learning proper form, not only will your workouts be ineffective, but they also can cause serious injuries. It’s wise to check in with a trainer regularly as well, to be sure you don’t increase your weights too quickly. Learn how long it takes your body to recover, and build slowly.
- This dangerous gym habit may seem like a no-brainer, but there are people in gyms across the country who do not take the time to stretch. Sometimes this can seem like a hassle—you want to get started on your workout as soon as you get to the gym, or you finish your workout and you only want to leave. But skipping your stretching is a dangerous gym habit that can cause serious muscle injury, because your muscles will be more prone to tearing. Stretching is also an important step in helping your muscles to recover post-workout.
- Although you may not always be able to find a partner when you hit the gym, not using a spotter while weightlifting can be a dangerous gym habit. If you want to show off to a member of the opposite sex next to you at the bench bar, make sure you have a spotter. Dropping 150 pounds on your chest has serious consequences. (Plus you might not get the date.)
- One dangerous gym habit that‘s easy to overlook is skipping your warm-up/cool-down workouts. Going straight into an intense workout without warming up can leave you much more prone to injuries. Even just 10 minutes of jogging will seriously reduce your chances of becoming injured. And just a few extra minutes of cool down can reduce the amount of lactic acid in your muscles and help with soreness the next day.