The Importance of Practicing Exercise Safety

The Importance of Practicing Exercise Safety

A noted neurologist recently said that exercise is as important to you as chemotherapy is for someone who has cancer. If we don’t exercise we will likely die early, and have a greater number of functional deficits. Whoa! I might also want to add that we need to practice exercise safety, in order to avoid injury to ourselves. Here are a few safety tips for those who are planning to start a safe and sustainable exercise routine.

First, be sure your doctor knows you are planning to start an exercise routine as well as the type of exercise you are considering. He knows your medical history and can offer guidance specific to you.

When first beginning an exercise start out slowly, and gradually increase the intensity over time. Always start with a warm up consisting of stretching and actively warming up all your major muscle groups for five to ten minutes. Please learn to listen to your body, as training too hard can cause increased pain, discouragement, and even harm. You should never experience pain during exercise and should stop if you do. Delayed muscle soreness usually starts 12–24 hours after exercise and lessens gradually in a day or two. Pain that starts during exercise and lasts for more than a week should be discussed with your medical professional immediately.

Over the course of your exercise routine, you will want to address posture, flexibility, balance, endurance and strength. There are a lot of good YouTube videos, cable channel ‘on demand’ shows and live classes with good instructors for yoga, tai chi, Pilates, and strength training, to name a few. The instructors should be able to help modify exercises for you, should you not be doing the exercise correctly or if the exercise is too hard or painful. A personal trainer can be very helpful in the gym, but be sure your instructors have experience with all levels of fitness.

A Physical Therapist is an exercise expert and can help you work through various structural issues as well as teaching you to modify exercises with good form. A Physical Therapist can also evaluate your fitness level and identify your strengths and weaknesses and offer specific exercises to address those issues. Exercise is important but please do so safely.

Contact Merriam Insurance or reach out to me directly to learn more.

This article is courtesy of Sandra Wells, PT, PC, of Sandra Wells Physical Therapy. You may visit her website by clicking here.

Richard Hale