Summer is (unofficially) here, which often means a replenished thirst for fitness. Whether you're venturing into the great outdoors or reacquainting yourself with the gym membership you haven't used since the day after New Year's, safety is key.
To get fit safely this summer, here are five legal questions to ask yourself before starting your fitness regimen:
- Is the facility clean? It's not uncommon for gyms and dance studios to have disgusting sweat-filled showers, machines, and facilities. However, because of a release of liability, you usually can't sue the gym for injuries caused by their simple negligence in failing to kill bacteria. The only exception is if they were grossly negligent at maintaining sanitary conditions.
- Did you sign a liability waiver? When you get hurt at a gym, you might learn that gym membership contracts can be tricky. Many gym contracts include legal fine print covering things like waivers of liability. Make sure to read the contract carefully because if you do sustain an injury inside the gym and need medical expenses covered, you'll want to make sure the gym has potential liability for negligence.
- Are the instructors qualified? When you try new fitness activities, supervision and detailed instruction can make or "break" your fitness plan. Even if the activity is considered pretty ordinary (like yoga) or completely trendy (like trampolines), negligent teaching can be incredibly dangerous. Make sure the instructors have a well-respected presence in the community and have all necessary certifications.
- Use the right tools and equipment. The physical act of working out can be risky enough -- when you add an out-of-date machine or product to the mix, disaster could very well strike. Make sure to use gyms with machines that comply with state and federal law. That goes for yoga and dance studios and pilates machines, too.
- Are you a natural risk-taker? Summer is a great time to explore new and unorthodox ways to get in shape. But if you think you have a special gift for throwing caution to the wind and that it might lead to an injury, contact an Atlanta personal injury lawyer to figure out what your options are to "play" it safe.
- CDC 'Poop' Study: Why Swimmers Need to Shower (FindLaw's Injured)
- Woman Sues Crunch Fitness For Pole Dancing Injuries (FindLaw's Injured)
- School Sued Over Yoga Classes (FindLaw's Injured)
- Get a Lawyer to Review Your Gym Contract With a Legal Plan From LegalStreet (LegalStreet.com)
(Disclosure: LegalStreet and FindLaw.com are owned by the same company.)