Protect Your Body While Exercising
Joe Fleming explains how to best protect your body when exercising.
In your eagerness to reach your fitness goal, you might end up neglecting certain safety measures when training. We get it. You want to achieve that dream physique. But if you do not consider ways to protect your body while doing your exercises, you might end up doing your body more harm than good.
Body's Response to Exercise
First, you need to understand the physiologic changes that happen to your body when you are doing exercise.
- Muscles - Muscle cells need a higher level of energy when you are exercising. To produce this energy in the form of ATP, the blood vessels in your muscles dilate, increasing the blood flow and the oxygen delivery to the muscle cells. During intense exercises, your body's available oxygen might no longer be enough to sustain this demand. You might begin to breath faster to compensate for your body's oxygen needs. Anaerobic glycolysis could take over in order to supply your body with energy. Since the by-product of anaerobic metabolism is lactic acid, you might experience muscle pain and fatigue. Your muscles suffer from small cuts and tears during training and they grow and develop during the restoration or healing stage.
- Joints - Your joints take on additional weights during exercise. Your joints are your shock absorbers. Too much of this can lead to injuries and tears of the adjacent ligaments and tendons.
- Lungs - Since your muscles need energy, your lungs work harder to supply your cells with the oxygen that it needs to generate ATP. When this demand increases, your lungs compensate by breathing faster and deeper. Your diaphragm is the primary muscle for breathing. During intense exercise routines, your diaphragm could get exhausted, leading to spasm. When this happens, you might experience side stitch.
- Heart - To answer your body's increasing oxygen demand, your heart would pump faster in order to deliver oxygenated blood to the cells that need it. The release of lactic acid and adrenaline into the blood also increases the heart rate. When you exercise regularly, the cardiovascular system becomes more efficient in its job to pump and deliver oxygen to the cells. This is why with regular training; your resting heart rate could be lower than an average person's.
- Brain - During exercise, your sympathetic response overpowers your parasympathetic. This response causes dilation of the blood vessels in your skeletal muscles and constriction of the blood vessels in your stomach organs. This happens because your muscles need more oxygenated blood during exercise compared to your visceral organs. More blood also reaches the brain, thanks to the faster and harder pumping of the heart, and could contribute to better brain function.
- Skin - When your hypothalamus detects an increase in your core body temperature, it taps the sweat glands that are located in your skin to produce sweat. As your body sweats and your sweat evaporates, heat is also transferred to the environment, regulating your body's core temperature. The blood vessels in your skin also dilate, leading to more blood flow to the skin. This would give your skin a reddish tint. As the blood vessels get nearer to the surface of the skin, heat is easily transferred into the air, aiding in your body's thermoregulation.
How to Protect Your Body While Exercising
The last thing that you want to happen in your fitness journey is an injury, which could pull you back several steps behind. Here are some tips that you could follow to ensure that your body is protected while you are doing your routines:
- Warm-up and cool down - Warming up prepares your muscles and joints for the actual workout. Do not subject your body to training without proper warm-up because this can lead to unnecessary body pains or, in severe cases, muscle strains and injuries.
- Stay hydrated and eat right - During exercise, you lose a lot of fluids through sweating. During intense training, you also lose electrolytes. Replenish your electrolyte and water stores through hydration. Dehydrated muscles are more prone to injuries. Also, treat your body right by giving it the proper nutrition that it needs to heal and recover from your training session.
- Build-up - Do not jump head first to that complicated training routine. Start slowly and gradually build up the intensity until your muscles and your body adapts. Overtraining could lead to muscle and joint injuries.
- Take a hint - When you are feeling particularly fatigued and sore all over, skip your training for the day. Rest. It means that your body has not recovered yet. It is important to give your body adequate time to rest and restore its functions. Failure to do so could lead to overuse injury.
- Dress properly - This is important especially if you are doing your training or workout outside of the gym, where you are more prone to environmental elements. Take notice if it is going to be a hot or a cold day and dress appropriately. Make sure that the shoes you are wearing have enough cushion to prevent joint injuries. When your knees are feeling sore or painful, using knee braces could offer some support. Check out this website for more information.
Always remember to protect your body when you are doing exercise. If you treat your body right, it will also give you the results you want.
If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:
- FLEMING, J. (2017) Protect your body while exercising [WWW] Available from: https://www.brianmac.co.uk/articles/article279.htm [Accessed
About the Author
Joe Fleming is the President at ViveHealth.com. Interested in all things related to living a healthy lifestyle, he enjoys sharing and expressing his passion through writing. Working to motivate others and defeat ageing stereotypes, Joe uses his writing to help all people overcome the obstacles of life. Covering topics that range from physical health, wellness, and ageing all the way to social, news, and inspirational pieces...the goal is to help others "rebel against age".
The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic: