We all know the importance of doing exercises. In today's world incidences of diseases like hypertension, diabetes, heart attacks have increased considerably. Most of the doctors suggests good exercise regime to prevent these diseases before they can even appear. And there is no doubt that in a long run exercises help to prevent many of these ailments.
So one fine day, we start to decide exercises. There is always a motivating factor behind it, be it a new year resolution or a nagging wife who reminds you frequently of your growing tummy. And here we go, inspired by one of this we start doing exercise. But do you know that many of these enthusiasts actually end up visiting a doctor, mostly orthopedician. Yes, if you don’t remember few things you will actually end up damaging your body due to exercise.
So here is the list of few things you should remember before starting to hop on that treadmill machine or a jogging track-
1. Warm up
Have you ever seen a sports person coming to the field and starting to play without doing a warm-up? No, you haven't and you won't see it ever. Because warm up is very important part of any exercise regime, be it gym or a sport. Most of the mistakes happen here when we decide to do workout. Suppose someone decides to start jogging, he will buy nice shoes, a track suit etc. And will start running on the decided day. But hey, are your muscles really aware of what you are going to do to them? Not really. Warming up is important for this exact reason. You have to tell your muscles to "wake up and get ready" for the load you are going to put them through. If you don’t do this then you may get sudden catch or sprain of some ligaments or joints.
So what is warm up?
These are slow and repetitive stretching of muscles of your body. These exercises are very simple and generally we all have been taught these in our school days in PT sessions. I know, now you remember it. But we tend to forget it all these years just like our history classes. The whole purpose of teaching it in our childhood is that we should follow them for our whole life. So next time before starting the exercises remember your school days and stretch those muscles.
What if you are hungry since many days and someone sends you for the workout? You will curse him, right? So, are your muscles cursing you? Remember, it is very important that your muscles have enough energy to sustain through the load of the exercises. By energy I mean vitamins and the instant energy. Let's discuss vitamins here. Not every individual is vitamin deficient, but many are. This is true specifically for the people who are vegetarian. Vitamins like B-complex, D3 are found to be constantly lower in vegetarian people. You should know beforehand that your vitamin levels are correct or not. For that you need to do some simple and inexpensive blood tests. If there is some vitamin deficiency then you need to wait before the level reaches acceptable levels if not normal. See your doctor and he will prescribe you some supplementations for the same. Alternatively, you can visit a nutritionist to make it up through food, though the time taken to reach normal levels by this way may be more than taking the supplements.
There are many wrong concepts regarding exercises. Being empty stomach for the exercises is one of them. You need energy and hydration while doing exercises. So make yourself hydrated before starting the exercises or playing a sports. Plain water or glucose water or lemonade should work fine. So next time you start running, never forget that water bottle.
There is old saying in Marathi, which literally translates to "only goldsmith should prick the ear (for earrings)". In other words it means that only expert people in respective field should do the job. Same stands true for exercises too. Get a good trainer or consult a physio before you start working out. Get a good coach for a sport you intend to play. Remember, even Sachin Tendulkar had a coach. If you don’t have a trainer or coach at least in the initial phase then you can end up doing it in a wrong way. It will eventually lead to an injury and a visit to orthopedician. If the injury is serious then it can dash all your future hopes of doing good exercises or playing a sport. So better be safe than sorry.
5. Commitment & punctuality
If you are really serious about working out then don’t make it a weekend fun. Many of us go the gym or play some sport only on the weekends and call it exercise. Remember that discipline and dedication is the key. If your muscles are relaxed whole week and are getting strained only on weekends then it is sure shot recipe for injury. The body won't be able to maintain the rhythm and you may get sore joints, painful ligaments and swollen muscles.
6. Quality Accessories
How about going to a war with low quality gun? Not a good idea, right? So, Invest a bit in good quality accessories. Kind of accessories you need can vary depending on the exercise regime you choose or type of sport you want to play. But one thing is almost always common and that is your footwear. To get it straight, if you don’t have a nice pair of footwear then don’t go to the workout, it is as simple as that. And there is no alternative. There are different footwears for football, jogging etc. So choose whichever is best for you. Other accessories may include knee cap or ankle brace, wrist brace etc depending on your choice of workout.
7. Patience -Don't Rush!
This is last but the most important thing. We are most motivated on the first day of the exercise or play. So we do it till we get completely tired. The people who choose to do running, jogging or cycling go long distances on first day itself. Don’t do that. Take your time. Mount Everest can not be climbed in few days or months, it takes years. So, for first few days take it lightly, then go on increasing your limits. Notice that I am not saying "Push your limits" because you shouldn't force it. Take it lightly, one step at a time and you will find yourself on top of Mount Everest one day. Otherwise there is always a risk of tumbling down and break your crown.
So, remember this 7 simple things if you are making that new year resolution to be healthy and fit. And don’t break that resolution for a change. Best of luck! Happy exercising!!