Exercise 101: Do This, but Don’t Do That

Congratulations on making a commitment to exercise! Before you take the plunge, read on to find out how to avoid injuries and get the most out of your workout.

Do: Warm up and cool down

A low-impact warm-up before any exercise is essential. Warming the muscles helps prevent injury and makes them more limber and easier to stretch. That means you’ll perform better! Cooling down after exercise is also important. It relaxes your muscles, lowers your heart rate and helps your body recover safely to its pre-exercise state. You need just five to 10 minutes each for warming up and cooling down.

Don’t: Overtrain

Gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. It’s always about finding balance. Pay attention to your body. You shouldn’t feel like you can’t move after your workouts. Symptoms of overtraining include lack of motivation, a decline in performance, continual fatigue and difficulty sleeping. For maximum benefit, your body should rest at least 24 hours to recover between workouts.

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