The pandemic has transformed many homes into more than just a place to eat and sleep. Homes have become the office workspace, kids’ classrooms, and even the gym. Working out at home can be convenient, but safely working out at home requires some extra planning.
According to the Philadelphia Journal of Clinical Pediatrics, every year on average 12,714 children are hospitalized from home gym-related injuries (1). In addition, these dangers are not limited to young children—teenagers and adults may often try to use a machine without fully knowing how to operate it and end up getting injured.
Before committing to any gym set-up take a moment to make sure you're building a workout space that is safe for your whole household.
What Will You Need to Keep Your At-Home Gym Safe?
Restrict access to your equipment. Having a separate room dedicated to your gym keeps kids and pets safe from dangerous equipment. Having a separate room will also eliminate distractions when working out.
If having a room solely dedicated to your workout space isn't ideal, store your workout gear. Keeping equipment locked away is the best option. You can invest in an organizer that goes up high enough for small hands to not get a hold of. This can be for equipment such as your dumbbells and jump ropes. Make it a habit to put your things away after using them.
Pet- and Kid-Inclusive Workout Routine
If you have to get creative and set up your home gym in a common area like the living room, it might be difficult to keep your pet or kid from wanting to get involved. Create a solution by incorporating your kids into your workout routine. For example, you can start your workout routine with a simple dance routine that everyone can do. For your pet, you can have them hang out next to you in a crate while you're doing a workout session, or try a pet friendly workout.
Stay Safe with Your Equipment
These items might not be as easy to store away like dumbbells or resistance bands. Instead of storing your workout machine away, unplug it after your workout and store the plugs away, out of reach of curious hands.
At-Home Gym Safety Tips for Yourself
Now that you've made sure your at-home gym is safe enough for your family and pets, you want to ensure you're keeping yourself safe too. Here are some extra precautions that will make your workout space safe and effective.
1. Check Your Surroundings
Unlike your local gym, you won't be surrounded by your gym buddies, but you want to assure your at-home buddies aren't in the way. Double-check that your workspace is clear of any obstacles.
2. Keep your Space Clean
At your local gym, it is often a common courtesy to wipe down each piece of equipment after utilizing it. Try to follow that same guideline of cleanliness at your home gym.
Wipe down your equipment. Place your weights and movable equipment back in a secured area. This is extremely important if other family members are using this space. Wiping down the equipment and machinery minimizes the spread of germs.
3. Treat it Like You’re Going to Your Local Gym
Creating a home gym allows for more creativity and flexibility, but there are some components of a local gym that you should adopt for your own. For example, continue to wear proper exercise attire. Also, utilize the safety guards on the machinery. For example, wear the safety clip when you are using the treadmill to ensure your safety.
For more tips on how you keep you and your family safe with your at-home gym, check out the infographic below.
(1) “Home exercise equipment related injuries among children in the United States.” Clinical Pediatrics, 2011 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21296844/. Accessed 4, March 2022.
Darasha Singleton is a content writer from Augusta, Ga. She has a background in TV broadcasting and entertainment journalism, which has led her to cover a range of unique topics. In her spare time, Darasha enjoys watching rom-coms (especially Netflix Originals), musicals, learning French, and creating content for her own socials. To learn more, connect with Darasha on Twitter @DarashaS.