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Physical activity is a crucial part of an overall balanced lifestyle. But it is important to use safe and thoughtful execution to help you get the most out of your workouts. Not taking the appropriate health and safety precautions can result in you being sidelined and having your goals derailed in the process. In the end, this can reduce the likelihood of continuing with exercise as well as lead to disappointment.
Keep in mind, too, that certain conditions may require modifications, so it is important to speak to a healthcare provider for advice and input. Once you have the all-clear, you can work toward an injury-free fitness journey. Here you will find tips for preventing injuries and disease as well as managing stress so you can get the most out of your workouts.
Stretching serves many purposes, first and foremost, aiding in your flexibility and range of motion. While you may have heard that stretching can prevent injury, there is not a lot of data to support this claim. In one older study, a static stretching routine resulted in significantly fewer incidences of muscle/tendon injury and lower back pain than in a control group, but total injury rates were equal.
Whether or not you choose to stretch is highly dependent on the type of physical activity for which you’re preparing. Additionally, the type of stretching that may be appropriate varies as well. It should also be noted that just because stretching feels good, does not mean that it is necessarily preventing injury or that there is not the possibility of it aggravating an existing injury or even causing an injury.
Exercise can aid not only physical well being, but mental health as well. By reducing tension, strengthening the mind-body connection, and in many cases, inspiring a sense of calm, different forms of exercise can play a role in stress management. Walking, running, and resistance training have all been shown to alleviate symptoms of clinical depression, while some forms of yoga may be a second line of defense for general anxiety disorder.
Diseases such as diabetes can be prevented with exercise, and, in some cases, even reversed. Different illnesses require different courses of action, but there is evidence that lack of exercise is a cause of chronic disease.
Exercising with a chronic condition requires special considerations. Alzheimers, arthritis, and COPD are a few of the chronic conditions that require special consideration and planning. Above all else, ensure that you have clearance from a healthcare provider before beginning a new exercise program.
When putting together an exercise program, considering safety allows you to optimize your efforts by limiting injury and supporting your individual health considerations. It is easy to become discouraged by exercising if you are consistently getting hurt or injured.
But exercising safely from the beginning and not pushing yourself beyond what is safe, will help ensure that physical activity becomes a lifestyle choice, not a temporary habit. In the end, this increases your enjoyment.
Stretching is a form of exercise in which a specific muscle or tendon is intentionally flexed or stretched and temporarily lengthened. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends stretching 2 to 3 times per week. Eventually, you may want to work your way up to daily stretching.
Flexibility occurs when a joint or series of joints have the ability to move through an unrestricted, pain-free range of motion. Flexibility exercises help keep your muscles functioning properly and can improve your range of motion.
Stress is often defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension that people experience as they encounter changes in life. Although stress is a normal feeling, long-term stress may contribute to or worsen a range of health problems.
Nutrition represents food and biological processes that allow us to utilize food for fuel. Proper nutrition involves eating a healthy and balanced diet and ensuring your body has the nutrients it needs to be healthy.
Recovery is the window of time that occurs after ending a round of exercise and returning to a resting state. When you exercise, you deplete the body's glycogen stores. Recovery allows your body to replenish these stores and give your muscles time to recover. Disregarding this need can lead to consistent muscle soreness and pain.
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