Exercise: How to Get Started
Frequently Asked Questions
11. How do I avoid injury?
The health benefits of exercise far outweigh any risks of injury. However, you can take some precautions to exercise safely.
Follow these tips to avoid injury:
- When starting an exercise program, begin slowly with low-intensity exercises.
- Wait at least 2 hours after eating a large meal before doing strenuous exercise.
- Wear appropriate shoes for your activity and comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that allows you to move freely but won't catch on other objects.
- Warm up with low-intensity exercises at the beginning of each exercise session.
- Drink water before, during, and after your exercise session.
- When exercising outdoors, pay attention to your surroundings -- consider possible traffic hazards, the weather, uneven walking surfaces, and strangers.
Stop exercising if you:
- Have pain or pressure in your chest, neck, shoulder, or arm
- Feel dizzy or sick to your stomach
- Break out in a cold sweat
- Have muscle cramps
- Feel severe pain in joints, feet, ankles, or legs