When it comes to exercise, we all want to achieve quicker results, and with the introduction of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) programs that promise to help us rapidly reach our fitness goals, many individuals are lining up to take part.
Before jumping on the HIIT fitness movement, New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer encourages people to approach exercise programs safely.
The key to safe exercise is moderation, and individuals shouldn’t be dissuaded from pushing their bodies to the limit because that’s how you ultimately build strength and endurance. However, pushing too far, too fast, leaves the body disposed to to traumatic injuries, such as sprains and fractures.
Pre-workout tips from your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon:
Extreme workouts aren’t designed for beginners. Beginners should start with a program of moderate physical activity for about 30 minutes per session. If 30 minutes proves to be too much in the beginning, divide it into shorter intervals like walking for 15 minutes in the morning and then another 15 minutes later in the day.
Stick to a schedule. Both novel and experienced exercisers will benefit from following a predetermined schedule. Establish a weekly exercise schedule that includes some days off.
Get on a balanced fitness program. A program that includes cardiovascular exercise, strength training, flexibility and balance training is desirable for optimum health and fitness. A balanced exercise program also will prevent boredom and decrease your chance for injury.
Warm up. Run in place for a few minutes, breathe slowly and deeply, or gently practice the motions of the exercise to follow. This will increase your heart and blood flow rates and loosen up other muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints.
Stretch first. Begin stretching slowly until reaching a point of muscle tautness. Hold each stretch for 10 to 20 seconds, and then slowly release it. Never stretch to the point of pain, and always maintain control.
Use the proper equipment. Opt for athletic shoes that offer good construction, shock absorption and stability. Also, wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that allow you to move freely and easily release body heat.
Take your time. During strength training, experience the full range of motion with each repetition, and breathe regularly to help lower your blood pressure and increase the supply of blood to the brain.
Stay hydrated. Drink 1 pint of water 15 minutes before you begin exercising and another pint after you cool down. Drink some water every 20 minutes or so while you exercise to prevent dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
Cool down. Make cooling down the final phase of your exercise routine. It should take twice as long as the warm up.
If you have any questions regarding your workout routine, call your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer today to schedule an appointment.