Excercise Preparation Hints and Guidelines

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Exercise Preparation Hints and Guidelines

Proper preparation for a fitness program can serve several purposes. First, it helps prepare the body physiologically for the program, which means warming up the muscles and preparing the joints for loads. This in turn, decreases the risk of injury and improves general performance during your program. There are also other non-exercise related aspects of the program can help keep you on track and comfortable with your program. Following is a list of general guidelines:

1. Prior to initiating any type of exercise program, get a physical from your physician, especially if you are overweight, sedentary, over 35 years old, have any heart problems, have a history of heart problems in your family.

2. Set achievable, measurable, attainable, realistic goals.

3. Dress comfortable with material that allows good circulation of ai,r and choose fabrics that absorb perspiration. Choose clothing that won’t restrict your movement, and that has none or few zipper or buttons. Wear good athletic shoes that provide plenty of arch support. Dress for the climate. In cold climate areas it is a good idea to have warm up “sweats” to keep muscles warm and to keep warm after exercise session.

4. Choose and schedule times to work out that fit your daily routine. There really isn’t a time of day that is any better than another, but it helps to pick a time when you usually feel energetic. For instance, if you are not a “morning person”, it may be better to choose late morning, afternoons or evenings as your workout times.

5. Keep records of all the exercises you perform, along with weight, sets and repetitions. This helps you consistently repeat your program, eliminates missing exercises and can help when you want to progress your program.

6. Warm up for 5-10 minutes with a combination of light activity and stretches that target all the major muscles. If you are short on time, it is possible to leave out the initial stretches as long as you do 5-10 minutes of light active movements (slow walking, stationary bike, etc) but DO NOT leave out your stretch program in the cool down phase.

7. After your workout, finish with a cool down phase of 5-10 minutes, again with light active movement and stretches.

Check with your personal trainer for more detail regarding specific types of stretches and the activity for your warm up and cool down.

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