Keep safety in mind when you work out so you get fit without getting hurt.
So you're ready to hit the gym in the name of good health. Good for you! Follow these six rules of a safe workout and you'll reduce your risk of accident or injury.
1. Consider working with a trainer. If you've just joined the gym or are exploring a new fitness routine, you'll likely benefit by consulting a trainer. He or she will show you the proper way to use equipment, check your form and help you set appropriate goals.
2. Warm up and cool down. Don't be tempted to skip these steps, as a few minutes of stretching and gradually increasing or decreasing your heart rate can help you avoid common injuries including shin splints and strained muscles.
3. Increase time and intensity gradually. It's not uncommon to want to get into shape quickly, but doing too much, too soon can easily result in an injury that will require you to take time off from your exercise routine.
4. Cross train. Too much of even a good thing, like running for instance, can have adverse effects on your body. Balance exercises that build up muscles with exercises, such as yoga, that foster flexibility.
5. Take time to rest. Scheduling down days here and there, on which you don't exercise, offers multiple benefits. Rest gives your body a chance to recover and helps prevent you from becoming burned out.
6. Pay attention to injuries. If you experience an injury, talk to your doctor. Ask if he or she advises working through it or taking time off to let it heal.
Medical Center Arlington is home to a state-of-the-art Sports Medicine department, and is also the official hospital of the Texas Rangers. We are equipped to handle orthopedic care for both everyday exercisers and professional athletes. To learn more about staying healthy, visit our online Physical Fitness Library or call us at 1-855-868-6262 for a physician referral.