Regular exercise is vital to good health. Here are some dos and don`ts to help you get the most out of your exercise session.
DO warm-up and cool-down
A warm-up prepares the body for the activity to follow. Muscles perform better and are less prone to injury when they are warm. A warm-up can mean simply walking or marching for 5 to 10 minutes to raise the body`s temperature.
A cool-down lowers the body`s temperature, gradually. The last 5 to 10 minutes of the workout should be cool-down time.
Too much, too fast, too soon are the main causes of injury. Over-exercising and under-exercising are both detrimental to health.
Gradually prepare the body to exercise without over-straining. Make sure the exercise program is structured, systematic and progressive.
DON`T forget to breathe
Breathing is an important aspect of fitness training - especially in the case of weight training, yoga or pilates. For example, while performing weight training exercises, you should exhale when you exert and inhale when you release muscular tension.
Stretching prevents muscle soreness and increases flexibility. It also relaxes the muscles, mobilizes the joints and improves posture.
DON`T get bored
Fitness routines should always be enjoyable. Vary your workouts so that you enjoy exercising.
DON`T dehydrate yourself
Water loss due to perspiration and sweating needs to be replaced. Drink plenty of water before, after and during an exercise routine to prevent dehydration.
DO rest adequately
Especially while weight training, the muscles need at least 48 hours of rest in between workout sessions to recover and recuperate.
DO think positive
Remember, it`s the small changes that we incorporate that make a big difference! For instance, walking for extra 15 minutes each day gives a total of nearly two hours of additional exercise each week.
Adopting a positive attitude gives us a greater chance of success. So be proud of each small gain and stick to your exercise routine, no matter what!