You know that regular exercise is one of the most important steps you can take to maintain your health and fitness. If you are not smart and take precautions, exercise can lead to injury so be sure and follow these steps to keep your program on track.
* Be sure and consult a physician before starting, especially if you have not been working out, have a medical condition or are 45 years or older.
* Dress for the workout! Wear moisture wicking clothes and invest in good footwear.
* Watch your impact and choose soft surfaces when outdoors such as dirt, grass or asphalt.
* Don't forget your water! Start with 8oz before your activity, aim for 4oz every 20 minutes during and 8oz after. If you find that your urine is unusually dark, up the fluid intake. It's an indication that you are dehydrated.
* Start with a warm up! Depending on your fitness level, environment and activity will dictate the length and mode of your warm up. You may wish to follow your warm up with some dynamic stretches.
* Depending on what your goals are, you will want to order your exercises accordingly. Cardio vs. Strength. Are you looking to lose weight or are you wanting to add muscle?
* Be sure and listen to your body. No pain, no gain is not correct! There is good pain vs. bad pain and you need to learn the difference. The good pain is muscles working to their potential but not beyond the bad is when you have used bad form or used an improper weight and your body is telling you to stop!
* Breathe! Exhale of the exertion and inhale on the return of the movement.
* When you are outdoors, be aware of the weather. You may have to adjust the intensity for conditions if they are extreme or consider taking the workout indoors.
* Don't just stop your workout! Be sure and cool down before stretching. Make your stretches static.
* Make sure that you are not doing the same thing as you will stop seeing results. You my increase your duration, distance, or instensity up to 10% a week. But, if you have taken a break from your workouts for more than a week, you will need to start back at 50 to 75% of your old level and work your way back.