It's no secret: having a sedentary lifestyle is bad for your health. But while you know that exercise is good for you, exercising the wrong way or approaching the right exercise program the wrong way can also be bad for you? The wrong approach to exercising can lead to strains, sprains, and injuries, which are all very painful and can discourage you from getting back on the wagon even after the lengthy recovery period.
The majority of these types of injuries happen when relatively sedentary individuals rush into an exercise program with little regard for preparation. Some of this is due to a lack of experience with exercise programs while others cite a simple lack of time and over commitment of resources. For most, they understand and accept the idea that they will be sore for a day or so, but assume that their bodies will adapt to the changes. This couldn't be any further from the truth.
If you are interested in starting an exercise program to improve your physical and emotional health, here are a few tips to get your started down the right path:
How Do I Get Started Exercising?
Before starting any exercise program, regardless of the level of intensity or your current physical condition, it is important to talk to your doctor. Some of the things you should discuss include:
Medications and Conditions
Medications can have a significant impact on your ability to perform certain exercises as well as your stamina. Discuss your current medication regimen with your doctor and make sure that you understand any potential risks associated with exercise and your current medical conditions.
During your discussion, your doctor may recommend certain safe exercises and prohibit exercises that may aggravate existing conditions. It is important to understand the impacts certain exercises may have on your condition.
What Type of Exercise Is Best?
Stretching exercises increase flexibility, range of motion, and muscle tone and is tolerated well by most individuals, they can also cut down the chance of major injuries such as spinal injuries. There is little to no impact to the joints and can even provide some cardiovascular benefits for those who are extremely out of shape. Stretching can be used as a stand alone exercise regimen or to prepare the muscles before a more strenuous workout.
Cardiovascular or Aerobic Exercises
Aerobic exercises primarily target the heart and lungs, though they have the ability to help tone muscles and increase strength. Aerobic exercise can help lower blood pressure and improve your body's efficiency over time. It is important to note that aerobic exercise is categorized by joint impact level and you should only engage in those exercises that are well tolerated by your body. The impact of these exercises can be reduced by performing them in water.
Strength training exercises utilize resistance to build muscle and strength. This usually involves lifting weights which may cause injury to joints and muscle groups of too much weight is lifted too quickly. Take your time and build up strength over time by lifting progressively heavier weights and make sure you follow your doctor's advice when adding weight training to your exercise regimen.