We all know to social distance, even when exercising. But there is more to exercising safely than staying six feet away from another human being. Before you jump on your bike, jog your neighborhood or run the trail, make sure you are doing right by your body. Here are five exercise basics:
- Warm up. Start with a warm up that warms up your body’s muscles including your heart. Think jogging in place, playing hop scotch or power walking for a few minutes.
- After warming up, pick a few good stretches and do each one time. Hold each stretch for 10 to 20 seconds and release. Don’t overdue the stretch. Pain is not gain. Stretching may help to prevent exercise injuries.
- Drink water. Throughout your workout, drink water so you stay hydrated. Dehydration can be dangerous, especially if you are hiking a remote trail alone.
- Cool down. About 10 minutes before you are ready to call it quits, start slowing down. If you are running, slow down to a jog then slow down to a walk. Other than allowing your heart rate and breathing to return to normal, it also allows for lactic acid to be removed from your body.
- Rest. This has two parts. First, when you aren’t getting the rest you need, your exercise program should be light. It’s not the time to push your body’s limits. Second, you need to schedule a day or two off each week from any exercise so your body gets the chance it needs to heal and be ready for your next workout.