Newspaper article MinnPost.com

How to Make Your Hotel Workouts Safer

Newspaper article MinnPost.com

How to Make Your Hotel Workouts Safer

Article excerpt

While staying in a hotel in New York City in February, I spent an hour or so working out early one morning in the hotel's small and isolated (top floor) fitness facility.

Most of the equipment looked rather shopworn, but I dutifully jumped on the treadmill. Two other people were in the room when I arrived, but they soon finished their workouts and left. I remember being glad for the privacy, particularly given how small the space was.

Of course, weeks later, when Minneapolis native Dave Goldberg, the CEO of SurveyMonkey, died while working out alone at a resort gym in Mexico, I realized that it probably wasn't a great idea for me to be using unfamiliar equipment in an empty gym.

Deaths in such situations are quite rare (although perhaps slightly more likely in a hotel gym than in a traditional health club). Injuries, however, are not.

Treadmills alone sent 24,000 people to the hospital emergency rooms with injuries in 2014, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Of course, most of those injuries were minor (sprains and strains) and occurred on treadmills in homes, not in hotels.

And that's 24,000 out of the estimated 50 million Americans who use treadmills each year.

Signs of possible trouble

Still, as journalist Greg Daugherty points out in an article published last week in the New York Times, you should always carefully examine a hotel gym and its equipment before using it. Don't assume the equipment is being carefully maintained.

"Litter on the floor, dirty mirrors, foul smells and a lack of fresh towels are all bad signs," he writes, as are "rust, frayed cables, damaged pulleys or other signs of potential hazard."

And it's not just injuries you're trying to avoid. The health experts Daugherty interviewed for his article also warned of potential perils that most of us don't think about when we're heading to a gym -- any gym. …

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