6 things to know before you do high-intensity exercise

6 things to know before you do high-intensity exercise

High-intensity exercises like boot camps, interval training, and other new strength and conditioning programs have become more popular recently.

However, these exercises could cause injury if you do them in the wrong way.

The most common injuries include shoulder, lower back and knee injuries, and they could be caused by incorrect form or overtraining.

Dr. Theodore Shybut, a sports medicine expert from Baylor College of Medicine, provides tips for people who want to start their high-intensity workout routine.

There are 6 steps for workout success:

Assess your own suitability. For example, ask yourself if you have done similar workouts in the past.

If you have never done exercise with similar intensity, you need to start from exercise with low or medium intensity.

Work on your baseline fitness. This is related to the first step. If you have not been exercising at all, you should start with basic cardio fitness.

This includes walking, cycling, swimming, rowing and doing yoga and Pilates.

You can also do some light-resistance exercises such as climbing stairs.

Check if you have chronic health conditions. If you have chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure or heart disease, you need to talk with your doctors about your workout plan.

Join a beginner’s class if you find it hard to start exercising alone. In the class, the coach can help you learn to do an exercise correctly and reduce injury.

You may also make some friends in the class, and this can be a good motivation for exercising.

Have realistic goals and expectations. That’s why a coach’s help or your doctor’s advice is important.

If your exercise goal is not realistic, you may exercise too much and hurt your body.

Know when to stop. Before your brain decides to stop, your body may send you signals. For example, severe pain is a red flag you need to pay attention to.

While some soreness is normal, the amount of soreness you experience with workouts should decrease as your body adapts.

But if your soreness is increasing or you are experiencing joint pain, swelling or instability, you need to stop and see a sports medicine specialist for help.

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