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Who is liable for the injuries I suffer at a gym or fitness club?

January and February are traditionally busy month at Ontario’s gyms and fitness clubs. According to a recent CBC article, about 10 per cent of GoodLife members join in the first month of the year, while the Better Business Bureau believes gym activity in January surges 50 per cent from December. At Kitchener, Ontario’s World Gym, up to 70 per cent of members join in January.

“We’ll have the New Year’s resolutioners from this year, and then we’ll have some from last year coming back again… people that have had their membership, maybe not used it as much as they intended from say March [until] now, and re-starting back up again,” World Gym manager Andrew Kennery told the CBC.

While this annual surge in gym activity bodes well for the health of Ontarians in general, Ontario personal injury lawyers understand that going to the gym poses risks of its own, especially for inexperienced athletes. While your risk of injury is small, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from damages.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 62,700 injuries related to exercise equipment, including 24,000 from treadmills, are treated in American emergency rooms each year. While not all of these will occur at membership health clubs, they underscore the need to exercise caution while exercising with machines. Before you join a gym, make sure to take a tour and try to determine the condition of the equipment on offer. Because you will have to sign a waiver before joining, the ability of Ontario personal injury lawyers to access compensation for your injuries may be limited – your best bet will be to avoid badly equipped facilities altogether.

Depending on the conditions of your membership agreement and the circumstances of your injury, your fitness club may be held liable for the damages you suffer. In situations where a gym’s owner and staff show no regard for the members’ safety, your injuries may be tied to the facility’s negligence. If you are injured under these conditions, make sure to act quickly after you are injured: take pictures of the equipment, recruit fellow members as witnesses, and contact Will Davidson’s team of Ontario personal injury lawyers as soon as possible.

Beyond performing a careful inspection of your club’s exercise equipment, there are variety of steps gym-goers can take to avoid injury:

  • Always warm up. Your body needs to ease into rigorous exercise. Stretch, ride an exercise bicycle, or jump rope before and after each workout to avoid shocking your body.
  • Know your limits! Chances are you’re not training for the Olympics; if your body is in pain, it’s time to stop pushing. Listen to what your muscles and joints are telling you to avoid doing serious harm.
  • Eat well before and after every workout, and keep well hydrated throughout.
  • Talk to a professional before embarking on any kind of training regimen. Exercises like weight lifting may seem intuitive, but take experience to master. Your gym will have trainers and fitness advisers on staff – avail yourself of their services.

If despite your best efforts you suffer an injury at a gym or fitness club, Will Davidson LLP’s team of Ontario personal injury lawyers are here to help. Give us a call right away to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.

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