Let’s do it right – 5 essential exercise tips

Let’s do it right – 5 essential exercise tips

Exercise is great for everyone, as they help maintain your physical and mental wellness. Exercises can be divided into different categories depending on what we are trying to achieve. There are strengthening exercises, stretching exercises, balance and coordination exercises and cardiovascular (aerobic) exercises. They can be further divided into their respective subcategories.  All the four types of exercises are important in order to achieve a better output with respect to injury prevention and physical and mental fitness.

But if the exercises are done in a wrong manner, they can have a worse effect on your body leading to overuse or acute injuries. In this series of articles “let’s do it right” we will go through the basics of exercising and right form of exercises.

Components of your workout routine

People have a tendency to stick to one kind of workout routine neglecting other variables of exercises. For example, a person who loves to run but ignores stretching and strengthening exercises will have a higher chance of injury than a person doing all three in a balanced way.

A good workout routine involves exercises which target all 4 components of exercise. But being said that it’s not that all the 4 components need to have separate exercises, one exercise can target 2-3 components together. For example Lunges – involves balance, strength and stretch.

Start with warm-up and end with cool down

All your workouts or sports should start with a good 10-15 minutes warm-up. A good warm-up includes body temperature raising activities like jogging or spot jogging followed by dynamic stretches and sports specific or workout specific drills. Whereas cool down should consist of short recovery run or walk and static stretches.

Sequencing of exercises

Stable lumbopelvic area

Exercise technique

Are you over-training?

We have often heard that, “Excess of anything is bad”, this phrase goes with exercise as well. Exercise can only be beneficial if it is done in correct volume. Every individual has different response to training load and rate of adaptation. Considering these individual differences, a training program should be prepared and progressed accordingly.

A good training program features an optimal training load which depends on training volume, intensity and rest periods. Training volume involves duration and frequency whereas training intensity involves force of muscle action and stress on cardio vascular system. A person opting for weight or resistance training has to do high intensity and low volume and vice versa for aerobic or cardio training. Recovery is an essential part of training for which there has to be appropriate rest periods within training programs.

When any of the training factors exceeds to what is required or there is any imbalance between workout and recovery, it can lead to over-training. The individual will start experiencing physiological mal-adaptations and performance decrement which can last weeks, months or even longer. Apart from physiological mal-adaptations, over-training also affects an individual psychologically.

Major physical signs of over-training syndrome include increase in muscle tension and tenderness, increased susceptibility to illness, change in appetite and body loss, elevated resting heart rate and blood pressure and decreased energy levels. Common psychological signs include irritability, restlessness, depression, insecurity, lack of motivation, increased anxiety and fatigue, and decreased vigor and mood states.

Over-training syndrome can not only keep an individual away from sports and physical activity for weeks or months but can also make them quit. Early detection of over-training can save a person from undergoing these physical and psychological issues. Under appropriate supervision and by physiological tests like VO2 max testing these signs can be detected at an early stage. However it is not feasible and practical at individual level. A simpler way to keep track of your training is by keeping a training diary. Recording your training sessions, comments about training, noting your morning resting heart rate, any signs of injury and overall comment for the week regarding mood, sleep etc. These recordings can be tallied at regular intervals to evaluate your rate of adaptation to your training program and notice increment or decrement in performance.