The best way to keep your body and mind in top shape is to be physically active. Almost everyone, no matter what his or her physical condition, can engage in at least some form of bodily exercise. To be most efficient, your exercise regime should follow the guidelines for your age and overall health status.
There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. This includes exercising. Some of the benefits of exercising include:
Builds aerobic power
Reduces blood pressure.
Lowers Type 2 diabetes risk.
Maintains immune functioning.
Keeps bones strong.
Builds muscle mass.
Boosts your energy.
Reduces the risk of arthritis.
Improves sex life
Brings about better sleep
Lowers dementia risk.
There is a downside. You can exercise TOO much and this is not at all beneficial. Certain activities carry increased risks for heart attack, especially among habitually sedentary persons with known or hidden heart disease who engage in unaccustomed vigorous physical activity. Some other dangers that can occur with over-exercising include:
Increased heart issues
Increased gastrointestinal distress such as heartburn or diarrhea
May develop gastrointestinal bleeding
Exacerbation of Arrhythmia
Sudden cardiac death
Exercise is vital for good health. Be smart and be safe while exercising. Follow these 11 guidelines for any exercise regime or event.
- Take five to 10 minutes to warm up and cool down properly.
- Plan to start slowly and boost your activity level gradually unless you are already exercising frequently and vigorously.
- Be aware that training too hard or too often can cause overuse injuries like stress fractures, stiff or sore joints and muscles, and inflamed tendons and ligaments. Sports prompting repetitive wear and tear on certain parts of your body — such as swimming (shoulders), jogging (knees, ankles, and feet), tennis (elbows) — are often overuse culprits, too. A mix of different kinds of activities and sufficient rest is safer.
- Listen to your body. Hold off on exercise when you’re sick or feeling very fatigued. Cut back if you cannot finish an exercise session, feel faint after exercise or fatigued during the day, or suffer persistent aches and pains in joints after exercising. These are indications that you are over-exercising and are in danger of developing an exercise injury or health condition.
- If you stop exercising for a while, drop back to a lower level of exercise initially. If you’re doing strength training, for example, lift lighter weights or do fewer reps or sets.
- For most people, simply drinking plenty of water is sufficient. But if you’re working out especially hard or doing a marathon or triathlon, choose drinks that replace fluids plus essential electrolytes.
- Choose clothes and shoes designed for your type of exercise. Replace shoes every six months as cushioning wears out.
- For strength training, good form is essential. Initially use no weight, or very light weights, when learning the exercises. Never sacrifice good form by hurrying to finish reps or sets, or struggling to lift heavier weights.
- Exercising vigorously in hot, humid conditions can lead to serious overheating and dehydration. Slow your pace when the temperature rises above 70°F. On days when the thermometer is expected to reach 80°F, exercise during cooler morning or evening hours or at an air-conditioned gym. Watch for signs of overheating, such as headache, dizziness, nausea, faintness, cramps, or palpitations.
- Dress properly for cold-weather workouts to avoid hypothermia. Depending on the temperature, wear layers you can peel off as you warm up. Don’t forget gloves.
- Exercise with your gender, age, health issues, and physical capacity in mind. A child can run for hours and not tire. A 50 year old man cannot. A mature male body can jog 10 miles and not tear chest muscle. A mature female body cannot. Be aware and exercise accordingly.