Exercise is good for you, but make sure you enjoy it as much as possible by
staying safe. We don't want to put a damper on your enthusiasm, but it is important
to be aware of potential dangers, including crime, traffic, and injury. Use
your common sense and good judgment while exercising, and you should be fine.
Here are a few tips:
- Avoid crime by exercising with someone else, or stay in populated, well-lit
areas. Carry a whistle in case you have a problem.
- Always obey traffic rules when exercising near streets or intersections.
If you can, try to use sidewalks, parks, or pedestrian paths. These "exercise
friendly" places take you out of the way of traffic and are much safer than
- If you choose to exercise at night, wear a reflective vest or sash. This
will help drivers see you in the dark.
- Do not wear headphones -- they distract your attention and obstruct your
ability to hear traffic.
- Carry identification and a small amount of cash, just in case you need
- The risk of injury increases if you do weight-bearing exercises more than
five days per week. If you exercise every day of the week (physical activity
every day is good), reserve at least 1 - 2 days per week for non-weight bearing
- When cycling, skating, or rollerblading, always wear a helmet and knee
- Always warm up before your workout, and cool down after it. Don't forget
to stretch when you are done.
- Don't do the same kind of exercise day after day. You want to avoid putting
too much stress on one part of the body while neglecting the others. Don't
continue to exercise on joints that hurt -- stop or change your activity.
Dehydration and overheating
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after you exercise. This is important
at all times of the year, but especially when exercising in warm weather.
- Take it slow and be cautious about pushing your limits. Don't push yourself
too hard, especially in the heat. Remember that you still need to replenish
fluid even when you don't feel thirsty. If you do feel dizzy, lightheaded,
or sluggish -- stop, rest, and drink some water immediately!
- Heat stroke is a medical emergency. It may decrease your level of consciousness
or even cause a seizure. If you experience any of the more serious symptoms
-- such as nausea, headache, confusion, clamminess, trouble focusing, fever,
or sudden lack of sweating -- you should go to the hospital right away. You
should also promptly see a doctor if your heavy breathing, dizziness, and
excessive fatigue reamin after you have rested and drank water.
- If heat, humidity, or pollution make exercise too hard, exercise indoors
or during cooler hours.
|Heat emergencies include heat exhaustion and heat
stroke. For immediate treatment, remove the victim from the heat and have
the person lie down. Apply cool compresses, have the victim elevate their
feet and drink fluids. Use a fan if available to blow cool air. Seek medical
Review Date: 3/12/2007
Reviewed By: Benjamin W. Van Voorhees, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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