This season is the perfect time to plan for your best year ever; many plans are being made, and the most successful people are also beginning to take action to reach their goals. It is important, however, to be more mindful of a basic necessity while we aspire towards greatness: our safety. Here are three major ways that our safety can be compromised on our quest for improvement, and what you can do to avoid them.

 

Driving

With the resolution to see more things in the world around you comes the increase of time spent on the road to get there. The last two years have been atrocious for road travelers with 2016 being deemed the deadliest year on United States roads since 2007. Take care to prevent the rising accident rates by:

 

-Avoiding in-car distractions such as cell phone usage, texting, and fiddling with the car stereo

-Playing close attention to road rules, especially speeding

-Finding an alternate route near construction areas

-Never drinking and driving

-Avoiding road rage and ignoring/avoiding drivers that display aggressiveness

 

Exercise

Gyms often receive thousands of new memberships in the beginning of the year bolstered by the timeless resolution to either get in better shape or to lose weight. While it is admirable to hone in on this objective with regular or an increased amount of gym visits, be careful of the risks present in the gym such as:

 

Muscle or bone injury from improper exercise technique

This common pitfall can be avoided by enlisting the help of a certified personal trainer, becoming knowledgeable of each exercise you participate in and understanding what areas it focuses on, and staying mindful of your limits.

 

Injury due to malfunction of equipment

Inspect the equipment carefully for signs of wear and tear, and don’t hesitate to present any concerns to gym staff. Never use any equipment that you don’t feel 100 percent confident about.

 

Foot fungus

The wet floors and walls of the gym shower make it a breeding ground for toenail fungus, and the boost in gym participation during this time of year makes it even more prevalent. Prevent Athlete’s foot and other infections by spraying an anti fungal spray on the feet, wearing slides in the shower, and consistently wiping down machines.

 

Trips and falls

Look out for gym clutter such as equipment or water bottles, and play it safe around wet and moist areas like the pool, shower, or sauna.

 

Overexertion

Signs of overexertion include sharp pains, nausea and vomiting, feeling faint, and fatigue. Prevent this highly preventable condition along with its related complications by taking regular cool down periods, starting slow and working your way up to the more rigorous parts of your workout, maintaining good posture, and stretching before each workout.

 

Home Safety

Busier times call for a busier home, but care should especially be taken to avoid injuring yourself or your family due to negligence. The National Safety Council states that poisoning became the number one cause of injury-related death over vehicular crashes in 2011, and 90 percent of these occurrences happen in the home. Avoid these incidences by:

– Installing and regularly checking your carbon monoxide detector

– Childproofing your home (keeping batteries and household products locked away)

– Inspecting the home for radon gas exposure

 

Falls are also high on the list, resulting in broken bones to brain injury in all ages. Prevent these mishaps by:

-Installing handrails on the stairs

-Keeping the home clutter-free

-Placing non-slip backing on area and runner rugs

-Taking extra precaution when waxing the floor

 

Fires are another major safety hazard in the home; the following steps are necessary to prevent this tragic occurrence:

-Install and test smoke alarms every month

-Keep matches and lighters locked away from children

-Clean your stove and oven after each use

-Never leave an unattended pot or pan on stove

-Always have a fire extinguisher in kitchen

 

Incorporating these steps in your everyday life will start the new year off with a bang — and not a crash, yell, or doctor’s visit. While these precautions may seem slight, you and your family will be grateful for the results. Cheers!