An important component of a well-planned exercise program is safety.
As a general rule, if you suffer from any pulmonary, cardiovascular or metabolic disease such as diabetes or diseases of the thyroid, liver or kidneys, you should have a health screening prior to participating in any type of strenuous exercise.
It is important that you begin each exercise session with some type of warm up activity (stretching, jumping jacks, walking, stationary bike). This helps to increase your heart rate and blood flow. You should end your session with a brief cool down period. Do not attempt to force progress. Exercise regularly and progress slowly. Avoid running on hard surfaces, especially if you are wearing inadequate footwear.
You should also avoid exercising when the sun is at its strongest. Planning your exercise program for the early morning hours or late afternoon will help you avoid the negative effects of the sun’s intense heat.
If you exercise out in the sun, exercise slowly or decrease the duration of your exercise session, exercise in shaded areas, clothing should be loose, white or bright in color (no black or dark colors) and porous. Drink plenty of fluids (especially water) before, during and after your exercise session.
If you sweat a lot during exercise, the electrolytes that are lost should be replaced. A little salt added to your diet, plus the daily consumption of a banana, orange or other citrus fruits should take care of the problem. You should consult with your physician or health advisor before adding sodium (salt) to your diet.
Exercise should be discontinued when any of the following warning signs are present: pain or pressure (tightness) in the chest, dizziness or lightheadedness, abnormal heart beats, extreme breathlessness, nausea or vomiting.
For fitness services, visit the Cultural Center of Charlotte County’s Fitness Center at 2280 Aaron St., Port Charlotte, or call 941-625-4175, ext. 263.