The do’s and don’t’s of exercise

By • Published: January 4th, 2010
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

It’s the New Year, and if you’re like many Americans you’re ready to deflate the spare tire that’s sprung up around your midsection after a season of cookies and rum-balls.

But if you plan on hitting the gym or lacing up your old jogging shoes, there are few tips you should know to keep you on the path toward fitness.

Rule One: Safety first. If you have no experience in the gym, talk to a trainer and study the proper way to use equipment before you decide to start bench-pressing. Improper techniques can lead to life-threatening injuries. You might see professional weightlifters lugging barbells over their heads, but you probably should steer clear of this move, and definitely do not lift a barbell behind your head. It could injure your rotator cuff or even your vertebrae.

Rule Two: Mix up your routines. If you do the same workout every day, you’ll overuse some muscles and underuse the others. It’ll probably get kinda boring, too. Instead, rotate your workouts.

Rule Three: Keep at it. The only way to build a habit is to exercise every day. Just be careful not to overdo it.

Rule Four: Stand up straight like your Mom told you. Good posture helps you breathe and get more out of your workout.

Rule Five: Wear the right shoes. Experts suggest matching shoe to activity for best results.

And lastly, Rule Six: Don’t skip the warm-up! Jumping right into your workout could lead to needless injury.

Now lace up those sneakers and get moving. Just make sure they are the right sneakers first.