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Safety Tips Before Exercising

Exercise is fun and enjoyable. With regular exercise, you can improve your overall fitness and health.  To people that are seldom exercising, injuries can happen.  If you plan to begin an exercise program, these are tips that you should adhere to minimize the risk of injuries.

Health clearance for exercise participation
Exercise is generally safe for all individual of different ages. However in some people, their health can adversely be affected if they exercise without the appraisal and guidance of a professional.

It is highly recommended that you check yourself with the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) by answering the questions honestly. If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions, contact your healthcare professional for further evaluation and advice. Should you answer ‘no’ to all of the questions, you can begin to reap the benefits of exercise.

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Warm-up
Warm ups are simple physical activities that precede exercise. The warm up period should be brief (about 5 to 10 minutes) and consist of light movements of the limbs mimicking the activity you are about to pursue. For example, a light jog or skipping for a few minutes should suffice before continuing to play badminton.

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You should experience a warmer overall body temperature with slight increase in your heart beat. With warm-ups, your muscles and surrounding tissues will receive an increase in blood and nutrient supplies required to perform any exercise.

Clothing
Wear light and appropriate clothing that is comfortable and not restricting your body movements. In our hot and humid environment, it is advisable to wear clothing materials that can wick away sweats as this allows you to continue exercising within a cooler temperature.
Shoes should match the activities that you perform and socks should be worn as well.

Weather
Exercising in hot and humid condition may predispose you to the risk of developing heat-related illness. Choose to exercise in a shaded area, indoor arena or during the cooler part of the day (morning or late evening).
As our country also receiving regular rain and storm, outdoor exercise in these weather are hazardous.

Hydration
Take regular sips of water in a hot day or when you exercise for prolonged period of time. Even prior to exercise, drink plenty of fluids. Adequately hydrated persons endure longer duration of exercise and perform better.

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They also are very less likely to sustain injuries like cramps, heat-related illnesses and muscle soreness. Beverages with 6 to 8 percent of simple carbohydrate like sports drink are recommended for exercise that is longer than one hour duration.

Plain drinking water is usually adequate for the latter. Following cessation of exercise, continue to enjoy regular sips of your favourite beverage until your thirst is quenched. This is to restore the fluid balance in your system. Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages in the immediate period prior, during or after the exercise. This is to prevent dehydration, impaired performance and lack of attention to safety.

Nutrition
Exercising with an empty stomach is like a car running with empty fuel. Your body burns more calories for energy production in executing the exercise.

Although bodily storage of energy sources are generally adequate, they should be replenished to the correct amount to allow you to enjoy future exercises and avoid harmful consequences such as fatigue and muscle cramp.

Also, adequate nutrient such as protein is required for the recovery of muscle injuries sustained during the exercise. For this, you should consume regular meals of healthy and balanced portion of nutrients.

Environment
The enjoyment of exercise takes on many forms and environments. In choosing the place to conduct your exercise, the environment should be safe from potential danger and harm while allowing you to perform the activity enjoyably.

In certain activities, you must take into consideration of utilizing protective and safety gears. For example if you wish to cycle in a scenic road by the country side, identify the route which is safe from bustling traffic or natural disaster and of manageable terrain.

Not only that, as a cyclist you must adhere to the traffic rules and apply safety gears like reflective clothing, safety light, helmet and limb padding. Communication device will become handy in cases of emergency or breakdown of your bicycle.

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Stretching
Contrary to popular belief, stretching is best performed when your body is warmer as this allows better extensibility of the ligament, muscles and tendons. The increase in muscle flexibility can reduce the risk of muscle tear and allows better performance.

The simplest form of stretching exercise is by holding your joint in its end range of motion until you feel comfortable. Hold the position for 10 seconds and perform about 8 to 12 repetitions for every joint. Stretching should be performed following warm up and immediately after cessation of exercise.

Avoid sudden or jerking movement of the joint or performing stretching prior to warm up as this might result in sprain and strain injures of your body.

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Rest
The saying ‘too much of bad thing is bad enough’ goes well with exercise. Adequate rest in between bouts of exercise allows your body to heal from injuries, replenishment of energy store and rejuvenating.

Listen to your body – consider rest during exercise should you experience soreness, discomfort or pain. Over-training is not beneficial to fitness and overall health. In fact, it predisposes you to harm and injuries.

Exercise brings benefit to your physical and mental well-being. Regular engagement in sports and exercise is advocated. However certain precautionary measures outlined above are necessary to ensure safe and enjoyable participation in exercise.

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