Exercise is essential to keep ourselves fit and healthy and doing so can benefit every part of the body. Regular exercise allows us to keep our muscles strong and our joints flexible, keeps us at a healthy weight and even helps to reduce the risk of many major illnesses. There's strong scientific evidence that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and happier life - and who doesn’t want that?
As well as being important for our bodies, exercise can also have an impact on our minds. It is great for improving our mood and has been known to help boost self-esteem, sleep quality and energy levels.
Exercise is a great way to improve your life but be wary of doing it safely and not pushing your body too far as no matter your level of fitness or experience, an exercise injury can happen to anyone.
Whether it’s bike riding or aqua aerobics, whatever you decide to try for your fix of physical activity, here are some tips for how to reduce the risk of injury:
WARM UP & WARM DOWN
Take some time before you start to get your blood flowing, making sure that your body is ready. This is essential to reduce the risk of straining yourself once you start your activity. It can take as little as five minutes and is easily done with some simple stretches and some light movement to raise your body temperature.
Warming down afterwards is important too. Don’t just stop but slowly reduce the level of activity to allow your heart rate and breathing to slow down gradually, before coming to a full stop. Finish up with some more light stretching to allow your body to relax from the tension of your workout and bring your body back to a resting state.
KEEP YOUR BODY HYDRATED
Through sweating and breathing, you can lose up to a litre of fluid for every hour exercising so it is very important to replenish this in order to avoid becoming dehydrated; causing you to feel light headed and dizzy. To get the most out of your workout, drink water, little and often before, during and after your workouts to help to boost your energy levels, restore fluids and help your muscles to recover. This will also help to prevent cramps from occurring.
Good shoes can help in preventing foot and ankle damage. Whether you’re just going for a light walk or training in the gym, you will need to find shoes that give the right kind of support. They will cushion your feet and lessen the impact of hitting the ground.
Depending on what exercise you have chosen, you may need to be wearing specific gear - for example, football boots for a game in the park or a helmet for a bike ride. Be sure that you have everything that you need and that each item fits properly.
As mentioned at the beginning, don’t push your body too far. Rest days allow your body to repair and strengthen the muscles you have worked hard on. Training too hard can cause sore muscle, inflamed tendons or swollen joints.
Whilst exercise is hugely beneficial, if not done correctly, you can injure yourself. If pain starts to occur during your work out or activity, something may be wrong so give your body time to rest and recover so you can come back stronger next time! If you feel like you need pain relief after an extra intensive work out, try Nurofen for up to eight hours of pain relief.* Nurofen Joint & Back Pain Relief 200mg capsules/tablets/caplets. Contains ibuprofen. For pain relief. Always read the label.
*Refers to 2 capsule/tablet/caplet dose