You’ve been thinking about it for quite some time now. You know you need to get your butt to the gym and start working out. You know you’ve gotten yourself out of shape and an hour or so in the gym three or four days a week sure wouldn’t hurt.
Ok, so you’ve finally done it. You went down to the local fitness club and spent 2 weeks pay on a one year membership. You even went to the local K-Mart and got yourself some new exercise outfits. Now you’re ready to go and get in shape. But before you do, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make your time in the gym productive, enjoyable and most of all, injury free.
WARM UP FIRST:
This is very important to not only get your blood flowing but to minimize the risk of injury. some good warm up methods include walking on the treadmill for 10-15 minutes starting out at a slower pace then working up to a more brisk pace halfway through.
Perform 10 minutes or so of stretching exercises such as toe touches, hurdlers stretches, twisting at the waist and reaching your arms out fully in every direction. before you do any exercises that involve using weights (biceps curls for example) do one set with half (50%) of the weight you’ll be using to prepare the muscles, tendons and ligaments performing the exercise to better handle the heavier weight.
START OUT EASY:
When you first get to the gym and you are ready to hit the weights, select an amount of weight at first that seems almost too light but still provides some resistance for each exercise. Remember that proper form, posture and technique are far more important than how much weight you are using. Also, you must give your connective tissue (tendons and ligaments) time to strengthen in order to help prevent injury from the heavier weights you’ll be using later. You can always increase the weight as you go when you can do so without compromising proper form, posture and technique.
When you first get on the treadmill, stationary bike, stair climber or elliptical machine, remember that your heart probably isn’t going to be in the kind of shape to go all out and for this reason you should take it at a slower pace for a while. Each week, pick up the pace and the length of time spent on these machines a little at a time. This will give your heart time to build up to faster paces and longer periods. Remember, your heart is a muscle and like any other muscle, it needs time to adjust to the stresses placed on it during exercise.