Tips for Being Active

ENSURE YOUR SAFETY AND EFFICIENCY WHEN PARTICIPATING IN A PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PROGRAM

Footwear

  • Always use proper footwear for the activity in which you are participating.
  • For activities such as step aerobics or sports, a good crosstraining shoe is important for lateral support.
  • For the person who would like to begin jogging, a running shoe is essential to reduce the stress put on the feet, knees, hips and low back.
  • A good running shoe should be replaced approximately every 500 miles (approximately 6 months).
  • Inspect your shoes on a regular basis for normal wear and tear. If you see excessive wear spots, it may be time to purchase a new pair.

Proper progression

  • Slowly build upon each workout. You will be more successful in the long-term if you start slowly and add small changes as your fitness level increases.
  • Challenge yourself, but avoid pushing yourself too hard. The delayed-onset muscle soreness you might feel 24-48 hours after a workout may deter you from continuing. Working beyond your fitness level may also put you at increased risk of injury. If you experience delayed-onset muscle soreness make sure to do light intensity activities on subsequent days until the soreness has subsided.

Warm-Up

  • Proper warm-ups help prepare the body for physical activity and reduce the risk of injury.
  • Begin your workout with 5-10 minutes of easy movement, such as walking or biking. Warm-ups should be long enough to feel the muscles loosen, and body temperature and heart rate rise.
  • Finish your warm-up with dynamic flexibility/ stretching exercises.

Cool-Down

Hydration

  • Water intake is essential during physical activity.
  • Make sure that you hydrate before, during, and after activity.
  • Drink about 16 ounces of water about 4 hours prior to activity. If you can, take a water bottle with you and periodically drink water throughout your activity. Drink about 25 ounces during exercise; however, if you exercise at a higher intensity or in high temperatures, you will probably sweat more. This may require more hydration during exercise. Don’t forget to rehydrate after you finish your activity as well.
  • If you have a strong urge for thirst during exercise, you are not drinking enough water. Hydrate before you feel dehydrated.

Next step

Learn what the ACSM Recommends when it comes to physical activity and exercise guidelines.

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