Smooth Moves: 5 Tips for Exercising Safely

Each year, 45 percent of Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions. And getting fit and healthy is consistently one of the most common pledges made, according to research by University of Scranton Psychology Professor John C. Norcross, Ph.D. So if you’ve started a new fitness program or amped up an existing work out, how do you know you’re doing the exercises safely to stay injury-free?

“Exercising without proper knowledge and guidance is the number one reason people get injured and stop working out,” said Fabiola Yasky, fitness instructor for Community Health at Baptist Health South Florida. “Just like successful dieting, understanding your body, learning from and listening to experts, and pacing yourself are vital to preventing setbacks and achieving overall health.”

Ms. Yasky offers these 5 tips for exercising safely:

1. Clear your health and your exercises with a doctor first. Medical evaluation and clearance applies to anyone starting a new or revising an existing work out routine, and is especially important if preexisting medical conditions exist, Ms. Yasky emphasizes.

2. Explore the environment in which you plan to exercise, whether it’s an indoor gym or outdoors at a park. Gauge the location’s temperature, condition and safety to determine the best time and place for you to exercise and meet your goals.

3. Educate yourself about the intensity and frequency of exercises you’d like to do. Hire a trainer, read reference materials from the library or research credible Internet sites online beforehand to learn about safe exercising and avoid injury or burn out.

4. Cross-train to provide variation, avoid boredom and reduce the risk of repetitive motion injuries. “Frequently changing the type and intensity of activities keeps exercising challenging and interesting,” said Ms. Yasky. “It’s also a good way to develop exercising as a habit, making you more likely to stick with it, instead of feeling like it’s another item to check off your to-do list.” Her suggestions include walking or running one day for a cardiovascular workout, then the next day playing tennis or another sport for endurance, followed by lifting weights or yoga for strength training.

5. REST. “Proper rest, nutrition and adequate sleep are essential in allowing your body to generate new tissues that build new muscles,” says Ms. Yasky. “Subsequently, your metabolic rate will strengthen to help your body lose weight and become more fit.”

Equally as important as establishing a safe exercise routine is enjoying it and having fun, Ms. Yasky adds. “Research shows – and it’s common sense – the more you like your workout, the better the chances you’ll stick with it and reap the long-term benefits of being in good shape and healthy.”

Free Body Fat Composition Analysis at Baptist Medical Plazas

A quick, painless and noninvasive 20-minute scan that measures lean and fat tissue as well as bone density is being offered for free throughout January at Baptist Medical Plazas in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. To schedule an appointment for the free body fat composition analysis, click here. The test is available to adults age 21 and over, and a doctor’s prescription is required.

Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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