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Categories > Exercise and Fitness > Exercising safely

Seven tips for fitness safety

  1. Check with your doctor before starting a routine, especially if you’ve been sedentary, are obese, smoke or have a medical condition such as hypertension.
  2. Wear proper protective gear. That means a helmet along with knee, elbow and wrist pads if you’re cycling or skating, for instance.
  3. Always warm up and cool down before and after your routine. If stretching exercises are part of your warm-up, do “static,” or gradual, stretches, rather than “ballistic” stretches, which call for quick, bouncing movements that increase the odds of torn or sore muscles.
  4. Exercise at an even pace. If you can’t talk and work out at the same time, slow it down. And stop immediately if you experience nausea, lightheadedness, shortness of breath or chest pains.
  5. Choose appropriate clothing—cool lightweight cottons in summer; warm layers in winter (and don’t forget hat, scarf and mittens).
  6. Abandon the “no pain, no gain” philosophy. Your muscles should not “burn” or hurt while you’re working out.
  7. Whatever activity you choose, strive to achieve the best form possible. Torn muscles, strained joints and other, more serious, injuries often occur when attention is not paid to technique.