This is the time of year when we start making bold statements about the new year ahead, many of which include getting fitter and healthier. But you must make sure you check the credentials of anyone instructing you how to use your body.
Many people will sign up to a gym in January, expecting the people there to know what they are doing. But there are many unqualified trainers in gyms who may not be the right person to get the best out of you. In fact, they could actually do you damage.
There are many dangers of unqualified instructors, not least that they could be teaching you improper techniques that can cause immediate or long term damage. And even if you’re not injured you might not be getting the best out of the workout.
Qualified professionals are trained to recognise when exercises can lead to injuries and when you’re showing signs of a condition or potential injury. If someone doesn’t recognise the signs during your workout you could end up with long-term damage.
It’s not only in the gym that unqualified instructors can cause injuries. A recent report by the Royal Academy of Dance said that many ballet teachers are actually unqualified to instruct, meaning that many young children may be taught incorrectly. Just because someone is a good dancer doesn’t mean that they know how to teach proper body movements. Young bones are very pliable and incorrect instruction at a young age can cause ongoing issues in later life.
Whether you’re looking to get fit, or you want your child to learn ballet, martial arts or team sports, make sure you check that the instructor is actually qualified in the discipline they’re teaching. Do your research and check any claims that the instructor may make, don’t just assume because they tell you something it’s actually true.
If you’re not sure about an exercise or piece of equipment make sure you don’t do it or use it until it’s been fully explained. Don’t accuse your instructor of not knowing what they’re doing, but do say that you’re not happy to use the equipment until you feel safe.
Do your research before joining a gym to find out if the employees are qualified to teach you about exercise or nutrition. Never accept lower priced memberships to gyms that do not employ professional staff.
If you are injured due to poor instruction for any physical activity, you are entitled to claim compensation.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers have many years of experience in helping people claim for injuries sustained as a result of negligent instruction for physical activity.
Tracey Benson is a personal injury solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.