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If you are an experienced exerciser but you are joining a new gym, talk to the staff for helpful fitness advice about how to use the weight machines and fitness equipment. Not all gyms have the same brands of equipment, and the settings on the treadmills, stair-climbers and weights may be different from machines that you have used in the past. Be sure to check with the gym staff if you need help adjusting any equipment, because doing a workout on a machine that is not adjusted for your body size can lead to injury. For example, if you adjust the seat on an exercise bike too high or too low, poor body alignment can strain your hips, knees or ankles.
The bottom line: Ask questions if you're not sure how to adjust a machine to the correct position for your size.
If you want to jump-start a fitness program or if you are new to regular exercise, consider a few sessions with a certified personal trainer for even more personalized fitness advice and instruction.