Families across the nation are camped out in front of the tube this week watching the Olympics. You know what that means. The infectious fanfare and inspiration will be sending tomorrow’s stars (your kids!) doing handsprings across the lawn and begging you for a volleyball net. While the Olympics only last for a couple weeks, we at Paul Davis Restoration of Central Maine have plenty of ideas on how to keep your sporty family safe and fit around your home throughout the year. Here’s a list of tips and home fixes to ensure that kicking a goal in your front yard is a big win and not a big medical bill!
Do you have dreams of being an Olympic gymnast and doing all sorts of fancy moves on the rings? Well, whether you can do one pull-up or 50, an in-home pull-up bar is a great way to increase strength and stamina. When choosing a bar, make sure it can support at least double your weight. Choose a place in your home with a sturdy wall on which to install it—think a concrete garage or on a wall stud or ceiling joist. Before installing the bar, drill pilot holes to avoid cracking the wall or injuring yourself. Finally, make sure you tighten it with properly-sized bolts to keep it (and you) up in the air!
TRACK & FIELD
Are you a Lolo Jones in training? If so, you may be interested in getting a treadmill for your basement or office to help keep you on track even when the weather sours. First, always wear running shoes on the machine—never go barefoot or wear sandals! Let Fido and Spot sniff around the new machinery before you start your run so they don’t end up exploring while it’s in motion causing injury to you or themselves.
Also remember that while walking or running on the treadmill, resist the urge to look down at your feet; this could lead you to lose your sense of the belt’s proportion and stumble or fall. Instead, look at the wall or the display in front of you. Finally, never compromise your safety by getting off the machine while it’s still running. If you need to stop your workout momentarily, press the “pause” or “emergency stop” button and wait for the treadmill to slow before disembarking.
You’re so into pumping iron, you could give Olympic weightlifters a run for their money! Your home gym is stocked with weights and all the latest fitness tools and gadgets—here’s how to make sure it remains a safe place for you to work out. Keep your home gym clean and tidy; doing so eliminates careless accidents, such as tripping over a misplaced dumbbell.
Make sure you have plenty of room to perform the exercises you’re interested in—it’s no good having a home gym if you don’t have the space to even stretch! Finally, impress upon your curious kids that this area is off limits without adult supervision. The large, heavy pieces with lots of moving parts can be a real danger for young ones.
ALL AROUND GYMNAST
Does your budding Gabby Douglas spend hours on a backyard jungle gym? Every other week, do a quick inspection of the set. Check the nuts and bolts, and tighten if necessary. Make sure the protective caps that cover hardware are still in place, and order replacements if they’ve disappeared.
Every month, do a more complete inspection: Is everything in good working order? Do the swings, ropes, bars and slide feel secure, with no visible cracks or damages? Finally, make sure to clean, sand and repaint any rusted parts as necessary. These quick fixes will keep your little gymnast safe while they work on sticking the landing!
FOOTBALL (WHAT THE U.S. CALLS SOCCER)
Nothing puts a damper on a pick-up game of soccer quite like a sprained ankle from a stumble. Often, the cause is a divot or hole caused by animals or weather erosion. If the hole is in a grassy or wooded area of your yard, fill the bottom with gravel—this will discourage any animals from returning. Then, fill the rest of the hole with about three inches of topsoil and tamp it down into a mound.
Is your soccer field your driveway? Potholes pose a serious danger for your teammates! If you notice a pothole has formed, move your game to a local park and call in the professionals to fill the pothole before someone takes a nasty tumble.
If your family has a pool in the backyard, it’s likely you spend many summertime hours imitating Michael Phelps and perfecting your stroke. But swimming pools can be a great danger for you and your children if used improperly. First, make sure your pool has a fence and automatic cover, and teach your children to swim at an early age to help prevent accidents. Enforce safety rules (such as “no running in the pool area”), and never let a child swim unsupervised. Keep your safety equipment within easy reach or access of the pool, and no matter how skilled a swimmer you may be, adults should never swim alone or while intoxicated.
Paul Davis Restoration of Central Maine serves the following communities: Bangor Brewer, Old Town, Ellsworth, MDI, Houlton, Waterville, Augusta, and surrounding towns in Central & Down East Maine.