Physical activity is good for your health, but you can hurt yourself if you don't do it right. Always keep safety in mind.
- Learn about the risks of any new activity you begin. Take lessons if you need to know how to do exercises with proper form and technique to avoid injury.
- Wear clothing that is right for your activity and the weather. Wear shoes that have good support for your feet.
- Always use the safety gear that goes with your chosen activity, like helmets and knee pads. Learn about the proper fit of that gear.
- Start each activity session slowly. Then work up to your normal level.
- Pay attention to pain and tiredness. They are your body's way of telling you to slow down. Muscle soreness is common when you try a new activity, but pain can mean you're injured. If you are very tired, you may be doing too much too soon.
Watch out for these injuries and illnesses as you exercise:
- Overuse injuriesOveruse injuries can happen when you use a certain joint over and over without giving it time to recover. Tennis elbow is an example of an overuse injury.
- DehydrationDehydration. You can lose too much water through sweating if you don't replace it by drinking fluids as you exercise. Follow these guidelines to avoid dehydration when you exercise.
- Heat exhaustionHeat exhaustion, heatstroke, or dehydration may be caused by exercising in heat and humidity.
Overhydration during exercise is rare. But it is a medical emergency when it happens. When you do strenuous exercise for a long time, such as distance running, you lose water. You can also lose electrolytes, which are minerals your body needs. If you drink lots of water but you don't replace the electrolytes, you can become overhydrated. Symptoms include:
- Feeling bloated (your watchband may feel tight).
- Feeling sick to your stomach.
- Feeling confused.
- Exercise-induced asthma can occur even if you don't have asthma at any other time.
- Overtraining is rare, but it can make you tired and grouchy, as well as raising your risk for injury and illness.
- Heart attack is rare, but be aware of the symptoms. They include pain, pressure, or a strange feeling in your chest, back, neck, jaw, or upper belly, or in one or both shoulders or arms.