With the high incidence of obesity and the many known health benefits of exercise, starting and maintaining a workout program can be one of the healthiest decisions that a person can make. However, starting a new workout routine does carry some risks. For those who are new to working out, it is important to take a few precautions that will reduce the risks of injury and improve the odds of developing a lifelong habit of regular exercise.
Exercise can benefit anyone at any age, but it is important for people to make certain that they are physically able to start working out. Those who are severely overweight, who have heart problems, are elderly or have other risk factors should talk to their doctor before starting an exercise program. In fact, a physical examination by a medical doctor can be useful for anyone starting to exercise. The doctor can recommend fitness goals and help with choosing an appropriate exercise plan.
Take It Easy
One of most common mistakes that people make when exercising is exercising too long or too strenuously. Overworking the body will generally result in sore muscles on the day after exercising, but more serious injuries can also occur. Torn ligaments and pulled muscles are common injuries for those who overwork their body.
Avoid Weak Areas
People with injured areas of the body need to be careful to choose a workout that avoids putting undue stress on the injury. For example, a person with a bad knee would not want to take up jogging or use a stair stepper machine for a long period of time. Swimming or exercising on an elliptical would be better choices. This is not to say that people with bad knees should not try to improve the knee’s strength and flexibility, but that they need to be careful to not cause further injury.
Use a Trainer
While a person does not necessarily need a permanent trainer to get into shape, it can be a good idea to use a trainer to get started. A trainer can help craft a workout routine that matches a person’s specific needs. A trainer can also teach a person the proper ways to stretch, warm up and complete exercises that will not result in injuries. As a person’s fitness level improves, he or she can again use a trainer to create a safe workout that is more challenging.
The social aspects of working out become an important part of exercise for many people. Having a workout buddy or belonging to a group can help a person to stay motivated and improve the odds that a person will stick with a workout. Most gyms and clubs provide a range of classes and other services that will help people to meet others with similar fitness levels and workout goals.