mid-day editorial: Don't forget to exercise caution in the gym

Recently, a young state-level athlete collapsed while working out in a gym. She was rushed to hospital but was declared dead on arrival. The field athlete had excelled in the shot-put, javelin and discus, and was doing light exercises when she suffered a stroke.

While one cannot immediately co-relate the physical exercise to the stroke, the death does show how one must be careful when working out, always choose a gym that has some accessibility to a big medical centre and, most of all, listen to your body and quit if not feeling well.

The gym boom that has swept the city, like most things in life, is a mixed bag of good and bad. It has created huge awareness about fitness, and is particularly helpful in a city where open spaces are scarce and exercise options are few. On the flip side, not all gyms, are not up to the mark with reference to trainers or equipment. A gym must have adequate safety resources. Shockingly, some gyms in the city do not even stock a basic medical kit. There is ad hoc certification of fitness trainers, which is not to say that all fitness trainers do not know their job. We need to bring in some uniformity into this industry, and an understanding that it is safety, not commerce that comes first.

Having said that, there is onus on the patrons, too. First of all, talk to a doctor before you start a workout session, especially if you have any factors that could put you at risk. Alert the gym personnel if you have any existing conditions or are feeling discomfort. Be honest in your registration form. Tell your trainer about any ailments or injury or previous treatment you may have had. Most of all, listen to your body. It's okay to push yourself to do better, but know your limits. Perhaps the one thing you can never forget to exercise in the gym is caution.

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