10 Tips for Exercising Safely

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"The Healthy Geezer" answers questions about health and aging in his weekly column.

Question: I know I should exercise, but I'm afraid I might hurt myself. What should I do?

Answer: Here are 10 tips to make any exercise program safe:

1. Don't hold your breath during strength exercises. This could affect your blood pressure.

2. When lifting weights, use smooth, steady movements. Breathe out as you lift or push a weight, and breathe in as you relax.

3. Avoid jerking or thrusting movements.

4. Avoid locking the joints of your arms and legs into a strained position.

5. Some soreness and slight fatigue are normal after muscle-building exercises. Exhaustion, sore joints, and painful muscle pulls are not normal.

6. Always warm up before stretching exercises.

7. Stretching should never cause pain, especially joint pain.

8. Never bounce into a stretch; make slow steady movements instead.

9. To prevent injuries, use safety equipment such as helmets for biking.

10. You should be able to talk during endurance exercises.

If you would like to read more columns, you can order a copy of "How to be a Healthy Geezer" at http://www.healthygeezer.com.

All rights reserved © 2011 by Fred Cicetti

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Fred Cicetti is a contributing writer for Live Science who specializes in health. He has been writing professionally since 1963. Before he began freelancing, he was a reporter, rewriteman and columnist for three daily newspapers in New Jersey: The Newark News, Newark Star-Ledger and Morristown Record. He has written two published novels:" Saltwater Taffy—A Summer at the Jersey Shore," and "Local Angles—Big News in Small Towns."