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Starting to do more exercise can be a really daunting experience. Gyms are full of fit-looking people and confusing equipment, while sports shops offer rows and rows of similar looking shoes, with labels talking about peculiar things such as over-pronation and motion control.
What exercise is best for you? And what equipment would you need? Fear not… Heart is here to answer all the questions you might have.
How long should I exercise?
If you’re not used to exercise, make sure you don’t overdo it at first. Start off exercising three times per week for 20 minute and slowly build up to 4-6 times per week for at least 30 minutes. This can be all at once, or in several short bursts throughout the day.
As you take up exercise, try to make other aspects of your life healthier. Take the stairs instead of using an escalator or lift. Walk to the shops instead of driving. All of these will make a difference to your fitness.
If you exercise regularly, then there is a good chance that at some time, you will pick up an injury. If a muscle or joint is sore, stop straight away, or you could do even more damage to it.
There are plenty of things you can do to avoid picking up injuries. Stretching before exercise can be useful, but stretching afterwards is mandatory. Failing to do so strongly increases the chances of injury or the dreaded DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscular Soreness) – that stiffness that can sneak into your muscles for the two days after heavy exercising.
If you do pick up an injury, always seek help from a sports physio. Meanwhile, it is a good idea to R.I.C.E. the injury – Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate.
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