Time to get fit?
Multigyms are common place in this day and age. They are accessible and relatively cheap to use. They offer a range of aerobic and resistance training options at varying levels to suit your present fitness status and your future fitness aims. Customers are now facing so much choice in the fitness market that they have the option of taking out membership to a gym with facilities that suits them. But what about the newcomer to fitness activities, how do they know what to look for in a well run multigym?
Most injuries are caused by poor preparation. Many people suffer from dizzy spells whilst in the multi-gym. The root of this problem lies with the fallacy that one must not eat for hours before exercise. Qualified instructors will actually suggest that you make sure you have a light snack an hour before exercise, to ensure that your body has enough energy to carry out the activity about to be asked of it.
The second key cause of injury is poor technique. This may be due to inappropriate instruction on joining, highlighting the need for a careful choice of multigym in the first place. Technique may also suffer once the user has settled into their new exercise routine, at such times we are often guilty of becoming lackadaisical in our approach to exercise perhaps shortening our warm up, or not taking the time for adequate stretching.
It is well known in the leisure field that there is a distinct lack of legislation and guidance to cover safety issues for both the users and operators of multigyms. With this is mind, RoSPA’s Water and Leisure Safety Department have put together a users’ guide outlining safety issues that all users of fitness facilities should be aware of, particularly if a they are a newcomer. When setting out to find a multigym your initial phone call should be to check whether a centre has staff qualified with one of the following: Provisional or stage 1 Certificate in exercise and fitness (gymnasium) UK Exercise and Fitness Award in the discipline of the gymnasium NVQ level 2 Exercise and Fitness in the context of the gymnasium.
You should also make sure that an introductory course is offered before you are allowed to use the equipment on your own. You should always be shown how to use equipment safely, and be given a programme which suggests the most suitable exercises for your fitness level. The gym itself should be arranged with suitable spacing between machinery. There should be no free wires, leads or litter that may cause a trip hazard. Water should always be available to multigym clientele. If there is a free weights area in the same room, this should be in its own space and have a separate instructor.
If you have an injury or health problems you should always consult your doctor before starting new or different forms of exercise. It may be that one sort of exercise will antagonise certain injuries and alternative exercise may be more suitable.
Having taken all of the above into account it is now time to make an appointment and start out in the new environment of a multigym. But remember to keep to the following safety code if your exercise regime is to remain a healthy one.
Multigym and Cardiovascular suite : A USER’S GUIDE
- Check out your health before starting new forms of exercise.
- Check that your potential multigym has qualified instructors and offers an induction course.
- Warm up before using the equipment.
- Stretch after you have warmed up, holding each stretch for at least 8 seconds.Check the weights and the seat, leg or arm adjustments before using the resistance machines.Breathe out on effort.
- Exercise should be felt but it should never hurt.
- Do not lock your joints.
- Remember to drink plenty of water.
- Warm down and stretch after exercise.