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Exercising 101 – The Do’s and Don’ts of Working Out

Once making the decision to exercise, most people are very enthusiastic. However, the initial excitement to exercise causes some to jump in too quickly, causing more harm than good. The doctors in our practice incorporate exercise into their daily lives and want their patients to reap the benefits of staying fit. These simple tips will help you learn how to avoid injury and get the most out of exercising.

Warm-up before & cool down after exercising.  A warm-up at the start and cool down at the end of a work-out should last 5-10 minutes. You never want to start at your highest level and you don’t want to abruptly stop and head for the shower. When you suddenly stop exercising, your blood can quickly collect, which can lead to dizziness, nausea and fainting.

Ease into a new exercise routine.  If you start a new routine or change the type of exercise you do, give your body time to adjust to the new moves or equipment. Don’t work out at an expert level if you are just a beginner for that type of exercise.

Learn good form by working with a professional.  Professional trainers are just that, professionals. They are trained in the science of exercise and can help you to achieve better results than if you exercised on your own. They can also help you to perform proper techniques to avoid injury and can keep you motivated.

Choose weight training that is appropriate to your goals.  If you want to lose fat or change your shape, one of the best types of exercise is to lift weights. The most important thing to remember is to build muscle you need to use more resistance than your muscles are used to. The amount of resistance should tie directly to your goals. Do you want to be bulky or just tone up? The rule of thumb is to progress and not plateau. To achieve this you should be able to finish your last repetition with difficulty but also maintain good form.

Stretch carefully.  It is important that you prepare your body for exercise by stretching the muscles that will be used before beginning your workout. This avoids injury and soreness that makes it unbearable to continue your work-out or the next day's work-out.

Vary your routine.  It is important to vary your routine. This helps prevent over-use injuries and helps to avoid the dreaded plateaus that mean you stop seeing results. It also avoids boredom and encourages you to stick with it. 

Rehydrate.  After your cool-down it is important to rehydrate your body by drinking water. This replaces the lost electrolytes and keeps the body balanced.


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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.