Regular exercise is a critical component to getting (and staying) physically fit. But, it you're going to work out on a regular basis, safety should be your number-one priority. How well you follow the guidelines of an exercise program, not just which exercise program you choose, can determine whether or not you experience better health. Without keeping safety in mind, you may end up injuring yourself simply from using the wrong equipment or using too much force.
Below, you'll find a few tips to help you exercise safely and get on the road to better health.
- Warm Up and Cool Down
A few minutes of warming up is highly recommended before you perform the actual exercises in your workout plan. To warm up, you can do at least 5 minutes of basic aerobic exercise. Doing so will warm you up and get your body ready for an intense workout.
At the end of your workout, you may want to reduce your exercise intensity gradually by reducing your pace. This will allow your heart rate to get back to normal. Plus, it will help work off any lactic acid that build up in your muscles during the workout (NSMI).
It's ideal to stretch before you engage in an intense workout session. Stretching helps you enjoy maximum benefits from your fitness routine, but remember that stretching should be done after you warm-up. If you stretch when your muscles are cold, you could become injured.
After you cool down, take a few minutes to stretch your muscles again. Each stretch should be held for at least 30 seconds.
4. Add a Variety of Exercises
Doing the same type of exercise repetitively may cause muscular overuse injuries. For instance, swimming puts lots of repetitive strain on the shoulder muscles. In contrast, runners put excessive pressure on their feet, ankles, and knees. By choosing to only swim, or only run, you'll put excessive strain on the same muscle group, which will cause fatigue and, eventually, injury.
Additionally, when you do the same exercise over and over again, your body will adapt to it. As a result, you won't continue to benefit from the exercise and your progress will become stagnant.
Ideally, your exercise program should include a combination of stretching, aerobic activity, and strength training (Healthline).
During a workout, your body loses a lot of fluids in the form of sweat. Replacing these fluids is important to keep your body hydrated, and hydration is crucial for healthy body function. As a general rule, you should drink at least two cups of water about 15 minutes before your workout. Drink this same amount of water after your workout and continue to hydrate throughout the day.
6. Wear Proper Clothing and Footwear
Pick out proper clothing for your workouts depending on the humidity and temperature. For instance, in the winter months, you can put on warmer, thicket clothing. In the summer, you can choose fewer layers of thin, light-colored clothing. Regardless of the weather conditions, also make sure to apply sunscreen if you'll be exercising outside.
Appropriate footwear and socks are also very important. For instance, running shoes are important to wear for efficient shock absorption during high-impact activities. Tennis shoes aren't supportive enough for running on a regular basis. Socks can help absorb moisture for comfort and add a small boost of cushioning, too (parents).
Long story short, if you want to exercise safely and prevent injury, we suggest that you follow these exercise safety tips. Being conscientious and thoughtful during your workout regimen will keep your body in top condition and boost your progress over time.