Are you still on track with your New Year’s resolution to lose a few pounds? Have you looked in the mirror lately and told yourself now is the time to start working out? Or is it a possibility that you want to tone up and give yourself a physical challenge?

Whatever motivated you to consider the gym should also include (at least) an interest in training safely.

You wouldn’t want to rush off to the gym, start exercising, and succumb to one of the common fitness injuries … would you? Of course not.

It’s just as important to educate oneself about safety at the gym as what you’re going to do once you get there – which is why I’m covering five all-important items to remember before you head over ….

1. Practice the Proper Form(s)

It is absolutely crucial that you practice proper form during exercise otherwise you run the risk of injuring yourself. As an extra insult to injury … if you did happen to injure yourself from bad form you’re also now out of the fitness routine which is going to lead to weight gain (and mental hardship).

So …

Take the time to learn this form before you head over to the gym. Education is your friend.

Once there you can go ahead and ask any additional questions.

2. Understand the Macro

I’m going to take a guess …

You’re not the fitness type that over-examines and gets a craze about every little micronutrient going into their bodies, are you? It’s just too much work.

Your success at the gym is just as much about the effort you put in there as the effort you put into keeping a healthy diet. In all honesty it really just matters that you make wise, healthy decisions for your body rather than trying to track and quantize everything.

Keep your eye on the bigger picture (the macro), eat what’s good for you, exercise for health, and you’ll just fine when you’re at the gym.

3. Learn the Equipment Basics

Let’s just say that some people … well … somehow use gym equipment in such a way that’ll make you scratch your head and wonder in disbelief.

Don’t be this person.

Not understanding how a piece of equipment works will not only cause a few shifty eyes in your direction but a very real risk of injury.

There are many, many resources available for you to learn the basics of equipment (such as this one). Do your research before you head in to the gym; save yourself from embarrassment and injury.

4. Grasp the Gym Standards

There are lots of weights, machines, and sweaty people moving about in the gym. The energy is pumping but this shouldn’t blindside you from the real safety of the location.

Some of these physical items worth knowing may include:

· Determining if exposed cords and other pieces of equipment could cause injury

· Knowing how to use an AED defibrillator in an unexpected case of cardiac arrest. Don’t ruin the good statistic!!!

· Providing CPR and other basic medical help if professionals aren’t around

It may not seem like something on the top of your list but do keep these types of items in mind before you hit the gym. You never know … it could prevent a nasty injury or even save a life.

5. Assimilate to the Culture

There are always those individuals at the gym which will make you feel out of place. They seem as if they don’t belong because they’re already in great shape. These individuals may put you off because they sling around terminology you don’t quite understand.

You don’t have to fully assimilate with this fitness culture but it would be worth your while to learn a bit of the lingo and nice gym etiquette. This way you can get in, do your workout, interact, and be on your way without feeling out of place and awkward.

So …

Don’t turn a motivated trip to the gym into a dreadful trip to the doctors. Get educated about your exercise regimen, what you’re consuming, equipment and their uses, general safety, and working well with others. By doing so you will not only gain those muscles and trim the fat but you’ll gain peace of mind knowing you’re not setting yourself up for injury and disappointment.