Calorie and Energy Expenditure Information
Exercise Guidelines to Reduce Injury Risk
Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs Help to Protect Muscles, Tendons, Joints, Ligaments and Bones from Strain
Healthy Exercise Program - Stretching Exercises During Warming Up and Cooling Down
Guidelines to Reduce Exercise Injuries

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Exercise Guidelines to Reduce Injury Risk

Reducing Injury During Exercise

Here are a few tips to help you reduce the risk of injuries while exercising.

Injuries from Muscle or Joint Strain

The most common cause of injury from exercise is sudden stress or overload on a muscle, tendon, joint or ligament, leading to muscle-strain or muscle-tear. Luckily, most pulled muscles and other similar strains are preventable.

Injuries from Repeated Stress on Parts of the Body

Over-use of certain muscles and joints can cause injury (eg. tennis elbow). Crosstraining workouts can help prevent this type of fitness injury.

Importance of Warm-Up Exercises

The Number one rule to prevent exercise injuries is warm up before you start exercising! A warm-up routine is essential to prepare muscles, tendons and joints for more vigorous activity, whether your intended workout involves cardio-aerobic or strength-training exercises.

Guide to a Mini-Warm-Up Routine

A good warming up program should involve at least 15 minutes of continuous activity using the large muscles (thighs, lats, pecs etc.). A warm-up plan should include stretching and gentle rhythmical movements involving (eg) upper/lower thighs, groin, calves, chest, shoulders and back. This helps to re-distribute blood flow to a variety of muscle-groups and individual muscles. Point is, after being warmed-up and lightly exercised, muscles, tendons and joints are more flexible and function more efficiently. Bottom line advice: a combination of gentle stretching and moving of the main muscle groups improves performance and reduces the risk of injury.

Importance of Cool-Down Exercises

In order to reduce muscle soreness after vigorous activity, and also to reduce the risk of injury, it's advisable to perform a few cooling-down exercises after your workout. A cool-down routine should involve similar stretching and gentle aerobic activity for 5-10 minutes after you finish your fitness program or sports activity.

Improve General Fitness to Reduce Risk of Injury

Your overall fitness level, meaning cardiovascular fitness (to improve breathing and general muscular fitness) and resistance-training fitness to maintain muscle-strength, bone-strength, body balance and posture is also related to reduced risk of exercise injuries. The better your total body fitness and condition, (respiratory function, muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints and bones) the more able you are to exercise and increase your performance without suffering injury.

Sources include:
- President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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