Learn how to Exercise Safely
Any time you exercise, your brain releases chemicals known as endorphins that produce a feeling of well-being and euphoria, which you may have heard referred to as "runners high". This feeling of physical AND mental wellness and power is very chemically addictive and can be just about as powerful for many people as the addiction produced by other powerful drugs.
When you go some time without this "rush", you may begin to feel irritable, and out of it, like a drug user in withdrawal, until you exercise again. Because of this, some people will continue to exercise and fail to listen to what their body is trying to tell them - which is to stop. Knowing how to exercise safely includes knowing when it is time to give it up and take a break.
As you can understand, the main reason exercise "addicts" will continue to push themselves is because of what they feel will happen when they don't work out. Normally when they are unable to exercise, they will often show signs of depression, anxiety, confusion, and be less happy with themselves in particular, and life in general.
Don't Ignore Your Aches and Pains
Too much exercise doesn't just have an effect on the mind, but can have a negative impact on the body as well.
When you start exercising, the exercise you do will essentially accomplish what it is intended to do, which is give you a fit body and even a contented mind, but, once you cross the line and try to do too much, the negative results of exercise can be drastic. Muscle damage, osteoarthritis, and heart problems will all be possible results if you overdo it. Just as bad is the fact that you may actually see your exercise results reverse; you may become weaker, more prone to illness, and experience reversals in your weight loss or weight gaining goals.
You have to realize that your body has certain limits, and, when you push beyond those limits, you'll quite possibly wind up harming yourself instead of becoming healthier and more physically fit. Someone who truly knows how to exercise safely is going to learn to heed the messages they are receiving from their body.
Don't Get Alarmed
Yes, there are some people who will push themselves beyond reasonable limits over and over, but most of us will at least have sense enough to quit when we feel pain. However, be careful of those who preach the "no pain, no gain" philosophy. That might be a tactic for those hoping to compete professionally in some sport, or, at a high level, such as the Olympics, but, it is a dangerous practice for people like you and me who simply want to be healthy and physically fit.
You need to heed pain, because pain is intended by nature to be a signal that something is wrong. On the other hand, it is not uncommon, particularly if you are new at an exercise or certain sports, to experience that sore, achy feeling for the next couple of days after the activity. However, when pain continues over a long period, or is exceptionally intense, at least knock off for a couple of days and let things heal. But, if you are least bit uncertain what the pain is, or is telling you, have your doctor check it out.
One way that many people find relief for both mild, and intense, exercise injuries is by use of compression tops and other types of compression apparel. However, such garments should be used with the guidance of medical personnel, and not just in an attempt to self diagnose, and treat, an exercise injury.
Avoid Obsessive Exercise
Those new to exercise are more likely to become "trapped" into an obsessive exercise lifestyle.
This is especially true if they have an extremely high motivation, or, as often happens, they begin experiencing results that please them greatly. Also, someone wanting to lose weight may figure that if one mile burned some calories and made them feel good, two miles might be better. It might be, once you have trained up to the point where this is the next reasonable step in your exercise program. However, trying to do too much too soon can be downright dangerous, and is one of the most common exercise injury causes, and a common reason people quit exercising. One of the most important points of learning how to exercise safely is exercising patience, as well as your body, and accepting that the health benefits of exercise take time to truly make themselves known
Results are Not Always Visible on the Surface
Always remember that for each visible sign of the effects of exercise which you might be able to spot, there are many other changes which are occurring simultaneously within your body. These changes are generally completely invisible to your senses, but, ignoring their existence can lead to an injury from exercise, or perhaps even permanent damage.
When you first begin a jogging exercise program, for example, tissues and structures which protect your joints must be given time to strengthen, the heart and lungs will have to make changes in terms of performance and overall makeup, new blood vessels will gradually be built over time, and muscle tissue which is damaged during exercise, will have to be repaired between sessions. At first, your body's systems, if you are not already physically fit, will have to adjust themselves to accommodate this new way of life while your body is also coping with the direct effects of exercise.
Signs of Over-Exercising
One of the early signs of too much exercise is usually going to be good old-fashioned exhaustion, which can lead to an increasing fatigue. While this is normal and will eventually become less of a problem as you become more physically fit, it isn't only your muscles that are at risk, but your bones as well. Many people who exercise push themselves to the point of injuries such as shin splints, or even stress fractures. When they refuse to rest, this can cause greater, and sometimes even permanent damage. This is obviously not how to exercise safely.
Even a simple activity such as a brisk walk in the morning doesn't come without some risk.
Walking is universally considered to be an excellent exercise, but, walking too much, for example, can lead to a range of aches and pains, and may aggravate some conditions, such as osteoarthritis. When you walk, you are working against gravity. Even though you are exercising your muscles, you are also possibly harming your knee joints as well, so discuss you plans and your exercise program with your doctor.
Again, what you are going to be able to do when you have trained up to a certain point will normally exceed what you will be able to do at the beginning of an exercise program by a large margin.
It is not uncommon for people who walk for an hour or more everyday complain of aches in the knees. It is a fact that walking, and jogging, can harm the knees, just as too many sit-ups, or too much weight lifting can injure other areas as well. With any type of exercise, unless you are training for competition, and you should have a professional coach for that, moderation is going to be of maximum importance if you want to exercise safely.
Get Help From a Professional
If you do not intend to actually study the effects of exercise and acquire a broad base of knowledge yourself, your best bet might be to find a professional trainer who can help you exercise safely.
With or without a personal trainer, you should always start off
gradually, and combine several different types of workouts, which is
one thing that obsessive exercisers forget to do. One of the
worst factors complicating the possible harm to people who get addicted
to exercise is that they commonly tend to perform the same workout, or
type of workout, each and every day. Without varying the
workouts somewhat, the exerciser further increases the risk of
Some Types of Exercise
Just a quick aside on this point. Not only should you
consider varying your workout a bit to get a broader range of health
benefits from exercise, bear in mind that different types of exercises
have different health benefits for the body. Resistance
training builds strength, for example, while cardiovascular exercises
(cardio) tend to build what used to be referred to as "stamina" and are
more effective for improving the health of the heart and lungs and
their related organs. Any program should always include
flexibility exercises as well, and no workout should begin with a
While professionals might do so, you should never work out to the point
where you feel completely exhausted once you have finished.
As a rule of thumb, your limit with exercise should be 45 minutes to an
hour, four or five days a week. When you are finished, your
workout should leave you feeling fresh and energetic. Every
week should make it a point to take a day or two as a break - as your
body will need to relax and rejuvenate.
This sort of thing will depend on the type of exercise being done, the
intensity at which you are exercising, your present state of physical
fitness, and other factors as well. Different types of
exercises sometimes need different rest periods. You can
probably walk almost every day for example, but you should definitely
give a muscle a rest at least one day before exercising it again in a
resistance training program, and give it a couple of days off in a row
every week. It is during these rest periods where actual
muscle growth and fitness improvement occurs as the body repairs all
damages a little bit better than they were before and upgrades systems
to deal with the next onslaught.
The key to achieving a safe and healthy exercise program lies
completely in your hands. Exercising is the way to a healthy
life. If you do it only to please yourself today, rather than
working towards the future, you'll defeat the entire purpose when you
stand there signing in at the doctor's office the next day.
If you allow yourself to start your exercise program slowly, and take things one day at a time, being careful to not overdo
it, you'll be well on your way to a healthy body sooner than you think. Exercising, done right, can be a lot of fun and a great way to relax as well, if you don't rush
it. Begin your exercise plan gently, and, taking all the time your need, gradually work your way up to higher
levels of exertion.
Keep learning as you go, and before you know it, you'll know how to prevent exercise injuries before they happen and you'll know exactly what you need to do to remain healthy and will be advising others who need to learn how to exercise safely.
While I do not normally recommend diets themselves, healthy eating is important to any health, fitness, or weight loss program. Click Here to learn more about Diet To Go meals.
P. S. If you want to learn more about Why Diets Don't Work, please click here.
If you want to learn how to burn fat, a great book to read is Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto