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Is it really too ‘risky’ to exercise at home?

Posted in General Health 17 Sep, 2012

Nothing is safe, not even exercising in your own home! The insurer Ensure are warning people that they risk causing up to £2.1 billion worth of damage to their homes and themselves by exercising at home. This is according to what was claimed last year by homeowners in the UK. The insurer is warning that this might be the case this year again, especially in the wake of the Olympic games.

To be honest, it just seems like the survey was conducted and published to hop on the ruins of what’s left of the Olympics bandwagon. Doesn’t it also seem incredibly irresponsible in light of the fact that the country already has a growing obesity problem? We can’t just blame the insurance industry; we also need to look at the publications that sensationalise stories like these. Is it really newsworthy to say that people have accidents in their homes?

Reading headlines like: ‘Exercising at home is a £2bn accident waiting to happen…’ (Daily Mail) makes me think that we are slowly falling prey to an overwhelming culture of fear, essentially teaching us: 'Stop being active, lest a freak accident cause damage to our belongings, or you!' The media has way too much fun scaring us at the expense of our waistlines and health. We are running the risk of becoming a nation that won’t leave our houses. Houses, which it would now appear, are death traps.

So many stories we read make it sound like accidents are out of the ordinary. Yes, they are highly undesirable, no matter how minor they are, but they do happen to everyone. Being healthy has risks, perhaps more immediate risks than being unhealthy, but ultimately it’s about choosing between the lesser for two evils. We can leave our houses or exercise inside our homes, building healthy bodies and healthy minds, or we can allow our sedentary lifestyle to slowly but surely take its toll on us, ultimately causing complications.

It’s often easy to get carried away with a home exercise routine, which is when I think we are most likely to cause damage to our bodies. So if you are going to exercise at home, it’s a good idea to do your research first, even go to a fitness class to get the right technique to do at home. It’s also a good plan to have a designated exercise space. So even if you are doing exercises in front of your television, ensure that there is enough room to manoeuvre. Yes, this may seem completely logical, but I’ve been so overzealous in my efforts to employ a fitness routine that I've been close to wreaking havoc with an exercise mat and kettle bell.

Although many of the articles reporting on the survey emphasis safety, it’s important that it’s the only message we take from it and not be deterred from our exercise routines completely.

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