If you are physically active, whether because you enjoy exercising or you do it out of necessity, good for you. The Bible says bodily exercise is profitable, and most studies and experts agree. Regular exercise has many health benefits, ranging from improved heart health and blood circulation, to better coordination and helping prevent certain diseases. To get the most out of your exercises and prevent injury, here are six tips for effective exercising.
1. Warm Up… And Down
If you’ve ever watched a game of soccer, you would notice that before a substitute goes onto the pitch, they do some stretches and a bit of light jogging. Those are warm-up exercises, which are necessary because the muscles have to be eased into any form of strenuous exercise to prevent injuries. You should warm up before you start your morning run or other exercise routines. Also, when you are done with your exercise routine, don’t stop abruptly; take a few minutes of low-intensity exercise to cool down gradually.
2. Pace Yourself
Most people are competitive. If you go to the gym, it’s easy to see other people benching a hundred and want to outdo them. But if you just started working out, that may get you injured. When setting fitness goals, don’t do too much too soon. Your target may be to run ten kilometers non-stop every day, but start with one kilometer; the key thing is to be consistent and to steadily increase as you go.
3. Can You Run A Mile In Those Shoes?
Whatever your preferred mode of exercise (apart from swimming), your choice of shoes is very important. Running, for instance, involves a complex balance of muscle movements, so the wrong shoes can throw off that balance and put unnecessary strain on your body. You need a pair of shoes with soles that can absorb the shock of your footfalls and provide sufficient support to the arches of your feet. Avoid overly tight or loose shoes; the former will leave you with shoe corns and carbuncles and the latter will cause chafing and discomfort.
4. Watch Your Form
Especially for starters, ensure you’re performing the exercises correctly. God engineered your body to take the strain and bear the load as needed, but you have to know the right postures to adopt to avoid damage or injury. It is advisable to employ the services of a fitness trainer; in addition to showing you the right exercises, he/she will show you the proper form and posture for each one, and you can get the best out of your exercise.
5. Rest And Recover
Exercise causes a good deal of wear and tear on your body, so you need to rest well between sessions. Try not to go at full speed every single day; you can run three days a week and walk on the other days. Also, sleep helps your body repair itself faster, so be sure to always get a good night’s rest. You can also do contrast bath therapy, a treatment where you immerse yourself in hot water followed by an ice bath, and repeat the process several times. Contrast bathing is very good for reducing inflammation and fatigue.
6. Know When To Stop
You may not know this, but your ability to feel pain is designed to keep your body from harm. Pain tells you when you’ve reached a threshold or when you’re overdoing it. While it’s normal to feel an ache in your muscles due to lactic acid buildup that results from insufficient oxygen in the muscles during workouts, you should pay attention to sharp pains that seem to come out of nowhere. That pain might be the signal for you to stop in order to avoid injuries that will set you back in your fitness journey.