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Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Holiday Warrior Safety Tips

Neighborhood barbecues, family reunions and community festivals on the 4th of July offer good food, laughter and perhaps even an opportunity for a little bit of exercise. Practicing active traditions, such as playing in a family football game, are favorable to the more sedentary customs, but caution is warranted. This is particularly true if the only times you exercise are during celebrations in which you participate in a bit of friendly competition between family members. Here are a few tips to keep you safe and injury free while adding physical activity to your 4th of July celebration:

  • Proper shoes and attire: Wearing the appropriate shoes will prevent blisters, sprains and strains. Sandals and flip-flops are not the footwear of choice while playing games such as football, softball, volleyball, etc.,. Preferably, you should wear shoes that are designed for the sport you will be playing; however, if this is not possible, a well-fitted pair of lace up tennis shoes should suffice. Wear clothes that are loose-fitting and light weight. They should be made from breathable material that wicks moisture away from your body (polyester, mesh, etc.,).
  • Warm-up and cool-down: A warm-up prepares your body for more vigorous-intensity activity by gradually increasing blood flow to muscles and warming them. A cool-down helps to bring your heart rate and blood pressure slowly back down to normal to prevent an abnormal heart beat or a fainting episode that could happen when exercise is stopped abruptly. The warm-up and cool-down sessions should last about 5 to 10 minutes and include light intensity exercise, such as walking and calisthenics.
  • Listen to your body: Avoid getting caught up in the competition. Do not overdo it. If you feel fatigued then rest or decrease your intensity level. Trying to prove your youth is not worth risking tearing a ligament or a tendon. Stop exercise if you feel faint, dizzy, lightheaded, short of breath or are experiencing discomfort in your chest, neck, jaw, back or arms. Seek medical attention if you experience these symptoms and they do not subside.
  • Hydrate: Fluids, fluids, fluids. Take frequent water breaks throughout the activity, especially in warm environments, to prevent dehydration.

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