Keeping you Body Wise: Exercise Safety Tips

by admin March 21, 2011

Once you make the decision to start exercising, it is easy to jump in headfirst. Although that eagerness and drive to get started are essential, nothing can curtail your activity or your motivation faster than an injury. Thus, before beginning a new fitness regimen, it is important to first understand and practice exercise safety.


With any type of physical activity, there is a risk of injury. However, the benefits of staying active usually far outweigh the risks. If you are starting something new or have taken a break from exercise, follow these exercise safety tips from two of TOI’s licensed physical therapists, Chris Follenius and Carlos Riveros.


Start slowly – gradually increase intensity. The most common victims of exercise injuries are those that have exercised too hard too quickly. Remember, good, quality results are never immediate.


Warm up – make sure that you warm up before every exercise. For example, start with five to 10 minutes on a stationary bike or treadmill before your activity.


Stretch – it is important to stretch after the warm up and after any and all workouts to prevent injuries.


Hydrate – drink plenty of water before, during and after every workout.


Learn the right techniques – holding the wrong position while you workout can lead to a serious injury. If you have any questions about your form and you are working out in a gym, contact the gym’s staff to show you the proper techniques.


Know the warning signs – listen to your body. Muscle fatigue is normal, but if you feel any sharp pain, take a break to relax and get some water. If the pain persists, see a physician. If you experience chest pain or tightness, stop exercising and take a break for at least a day. If this continues, see a physician.


After exercising, it is common to experience delayed onset muscle soreness, but it is important to recognize what is uncommon and may require medical attention. Slightly sore muscles for one to two days are acceptable; however, if pain in focused in your joints or muscles for two to three days and lasts for a number of exercises, you should see a physician.


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TOI's Blog is dedicated to patient education with topics addressing current issues in health and medicine. We will also blog about some of our other favorite things, like community events, our wonderful employees, helping the environment and whatever else comes to our minds! We hope the information contained in our blog is fun to read, assists you in making educated decisions regarding your health, and supports your decision to select TOI when you are in need of quality musculoskeletal care.


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