Fitness nutritionist and personal trainer Anthea Strachan from Fit Finder shares her SMART FIVE must haves to ensure you exercise safely.
Exercises many benefits – physically, mentally and socially – and hopefully, by now, you have made a commitment to your health to go out and exercise regularly. However, the last thing you need in your already busy life is an injury cause by your exercise routine. Fitness nutritionist and personal trainer Anthea shares her top five tips to ensure that you’re safe and injury free while you exercise, so that you’re more likely to stick to your routine!
Warm up and cool down
Warm-ups and cool-downs are an integral part of all exercise. You don’t see a race car going out on a track cold. Just like a car we need to warm the fluids up between our joints to ensure they are lubricated and protected. This will ensure your well-maintained machine (your body) is firing on all cylinders.
Your warm-up needs to be active – that means get moving! Save the stretching for your cool-down, and don’t make the mistake of only allowing 2 minutes for this. Rule of thumb, your cool down should be 10% of the total time you exercised, so an hour session will need at minimum of 6 minutes, and most beneficial would be more like 10 minutes.
Be body aware
Get in tune with your body and what it is telling you. Don’t do something just because an app is telling you to. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s not. So stop, adjust and change the exercise for that muscle group to one that isn’t causing you pain. This is where the benefits of a Personal Trainer comes in, they have an array of exercises and modifications for when this crops up. If it’s a little more than slightly painful, stop immediately and seek medical attention.
This applies both in the session and over the week. We all know how addictive the endorphins of exercise can be. But it is imperative you take a minimum of a day’s rest in 7 days – you shouldn’t be training 7 days a week. This is one of the easiest ways to guarantee an injury.
Within the session, if you are following a program, make sure you have factored in your rest periods between sets, as most injuries happen when you march on in to the next set unrested.
Ensure Correct Technique
Technique is everything. Too many times we see people load up with weights with average technique at best, and within a short space of time they are out of action due to bulging discs, corked hamstring and pulled groins.
Invest in a professional, that’s their job. They have spent years educating themselves to pass this knowledge on to their clients. Ask to see their credentials and look for a personal trainer that has invested in their education. Don’t look for the loudest, most buff PT in the gym – look for the one that’s educated themselves. They are the true professionals.
Remember, when you exercise you lose approximately 1 ½ litres of fluid every hour – and even more when you are exposed to the elements in the outdoors.
It is essential that you hydrate before, during and after exercise… WITH WATER. Try not to be fooled by with the shiny bottles and cans that promote energy, these are often packed with sugar and chemicals which will only deplete your hydration even more.
This article was proudly sponsored by Fit Finder.
If you would like to learn more about how to take care of your body, or organise a full session with Anthea, simply go to the Fit Finder website.
For your first session, use the code: Nurse50 to receive $50 off your first session to give it a try!