Offering both immediate and long-term benefits, exercise and physical activities are crucial elements of a healthy lifestyle. Routine exercise improves strength and cardiovascular endurance, helps weight loss, and decreases health risks. Even people with a chronic condition like heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis can stay active. However, over-exercising can cause injury.
Whether you’re just starting a new activity or haven’t been active for a long time, you need to stay safe while you exercise. Taking certain precautions can minimize the risk of exercise or activity-induced injuries. Here are some smart tips to play it safe and stay injury-free:
- Always start your workout with low-intensity exercises.
- Take five to 10 minutes to warm up before exercising, and cool down afterward. Try slow stretches.
- Listen to your body. If any particular exercise is making you uncomfortable, stop immediately and seek medical advice.
- Get the right gear or equipment for the activity you’ve chosen, both for your comfort and safety. Wear appropriate shoes and reflective clothing for street running and use protective equipment such as a helmet for cycling.
- Take it easy in hot weather. Don’t forget to wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen.
- To avoid dehydration, drink water before, during, and after your workout session, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
- Do not over-exercise or overdo physical activities as it can lead to injuries
- Have at least one recovery day each week to rest. If you are experiencing pain, rest until the pain has gone.
- To reduce the risk of overtraining, include lighter sports and exercises in your regimen.
- If you are into strength training, make sure you follow good form. While learning the exercises, don’t us weights or use only very light weights. Try to get the technique right from the beginning, to ensure you are using your muscles correctly.
- Pay attention to your surroundings when exercising outdoors. Choose routes that are easy to navigate, well used and well lit.
- Before exercising, strap or tape to prevent joint strain or injury. Get professional advice on how to strengthen the injured area as well as on proper taping techniques.
- If you have specific health conditions, discuss your exercise and physical activity plan with your doctor.
Taking these precautions and exercising right can help you increase the length and intensity of your workouts and stay in the game.