Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Reader Fitness Challenge 2013 - Week #4

If you were like me when I started this journey last year, the thought of exercising was a scary thing.  Here are some great tips before you get started to stay safe.  

Excercise Safety Tips for Beginners

If this is the year you finally started that exercise program, here are a few beginner safety tips to keep in mind. 

1. Check first with your doctor - this is not just a legal disclaimer in workout videos. Check in with your healthcare provider (especially if you're overweight, a smoker, or have any chronic medical conditions), and make sure there are no medical issues affecting your exercise plans.

2. Start slowly - according to the Department of Health and Human Services, 30 minutes of daily physical activity is required to reduce the risk of chronic diseases in adults. This is a daunting goal for a beginner, but the 30 minutes can be done in 10 minutes intervals throughout the day. And start with exercising 2-3 times per week. Build intensity and duration gradually. Don't try to go from couch potato to world class athlete overnight.

3. Wear the right kind of gear - shoes should fit well and provide the proper support for your activity and body type. If you're taking up running, some athletic footwear stores will consider your body type when recommending an appropriate shoe. Don't forget a helmet, elbow and knee pads if you're doing biking, skating, or a contact sport; wear reflective clothing if you will be outdoors at night; and a good swim cap and goggles can make swimming less frustrating and more fun. Also, remember even if it's cloudy outside, wear your sunscreen.

4. Don't wear ankle and wrist weights - too much weight may put too much stress on your joints, and they can alter your normal movement raising your risk of injury. A weighted vest in which the weight is distributed evenly might be a better choice.

5. Know your limits - pain during exercise, especially chest pain, is a sign to stop, so resist any urge to power through it. Muscle cramps, dizziness, nausea, racing heart, or breaking out in a cold sweat, are all warning signs to slow down. Beginners should expect some discomfort when just starting out, and some soreness, especially the day after vigorous exercise, should also be expected.

6. Hydrate and rest - Drink plenty of water during and after your workout. Give your body the food, fluids, and rest it needs to reap all of the benefits from this new healthy regimen.

by Deanna Franklin Campbell, Mind Body Spirit columnist for Chesapeake Family magazine. Click here to link to article. 

*** articles on blog are for discussion purposes only.  Please consult your doctor when seeking medical advice.

Remember to leave a comment to be entered into the drawings.  Winners will be announced on March 16th. 


Debby said...

I was at another blog and they had some great exercises for when you cannot get on a treadmill.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Quilt Lady said...

These are some really great tips. Last year I walked everyday but I started out slowly by just walking the block and was up to two miles. Right now I am riding the exercise bike like the doctor told me to do. Yesterday I went to a athletic bike and foot wear shop and was fitted with a pair of Brooks stabilizing shoes. I am hoping the doctor will let me start back to walking some because you need weight bearing exercise also.

Always remember to do some stretching before exercising.

SusanR said...

I've been trying to workout more the last few weeks. Though I am having a hard time finding a balance between getting enough exercise and aggravating my fibromyalsia. But I will keep trying until I can find something that works. I can't keep giving up from the pain - this is why I have put on so much weight!

Mary Preston said...

Very sensible tips & useful. I know myself that a comfortable pair of shoes makes the world of difference.

Pamk said...

i need to go to an orthopedic doc about my foot before I start exercising so i am going to do that. I've started eating better and I believe I've dropped a couple of pounds. Looking forward to getting started exercising. Hope to start back with my Karate.

Lisa said...

I am really enjoying these articles. I wonder how many calories I am burning by reading them...

CrystalGB said...

Great article. I love all the tips.

Z said...

I started Yoga and walking today.

Anonymous said...

I am really glad I read this because I was really thinking about purchasing ankle and wrist weights to kick up my exercise program.