Ten Steps to Preventing Injuries
1. Begin slowly and increase gradually. Follow the 10% rule. That is, increase the intensity or duration of your exercise by 10% or less every week, and do not exceed 75% of your maximum heart rate.
2. Warm up for 5-10 minutes by stretching. This could include walking at a normal pace.
3. Drink about 16 ounces (1/2 liter) of water and consume a moderate amount of food during the two hours before exercise.
4. Be careful not to overexert. Keep the intensity and duration of your exercise within your maximum threshold for exertion.
5. Rest. Try to get six to eight hours of sleep the night before you exercise.
6. If you don’t know what exercise to do, ask your doctor or consult with a personal trainer or physical therapist.
7. Dress appropriately. This includes using safety gear and the right kinds of shoes for the activity.
8. If you use exercise equipment, read the instructions carefully and ask for guidance if you are unsure.
9. Try a variety of exercises. It is often helpful to gradually build up to being able to do several different exercises and rotate among these activities. For example, you might alternate jogging, walking, and swimming on successive days.
10. Stop exercising if you develop shortness of breath, pain, light-headedness, chest pain, or irregular, rapid or fluttery heart beat.
Most Important: Listen to Your Body.
Excerpt with permission from Exercise Balance
by Pauline S. Powers, M.D., Ron Thompson, PhD
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