Ex­er­cise cau­tion

Tips to help you get the most out of your ex­er­cise rou­tine

Move! - - CONTENTS - By Boi­tumelo Mat­shaba

WITH sum­mer slowly ap­proach­ing, ev­ery­one is flock­ing to the gym hop­ing to achieve their ul­ti­mate “sum­mer body.” Many say sum­mer bod­ies are made in win­ter, but it is never too late to start a fit­ness life­style. How­ever, there are some safety tips you need to be aware of be­fore go­ing in full force.


One way to lose a few calo­ries is by jog­ging, which will not only help you lose the ex­tra ki­los, but will clear your mind too.

“De­pend­ing on the in­ten­sity, jog­ging can be ef­fec­tive for los­ing weight, es­pe­cially if it is com­bined with a good diet,” says Michael Coova­dia, a per­sonal trainer at Viva Gym in Rose­bank, Joburg.

But be­fore you take up jog­ging, it is im­por­tant to buy good qual­ity run­ning shoes.

Michael says the cor­rect shoes will help you achieve your ex­er­cise goals, while the wrong shoes will hurt your feet and joints.

You might not feel the pain right away, but will feel it in the long run. Visit your near­est sports shop, where they will ad­vise you on the cor­rect shoes for run­ning, gym and ev­ery­thing in be­tween.


A sports bra is an ac­tive woman’s best friend. It is im­por­tant to wear a well fit­ting bra that sup­ports your cup size.

Your bra shouldn’t be so tight that it digs into your skin or too big it doesn’t serve its pur­pose. Af­ter fit­ting a bra, run two fingers be­tween your skin and the band of the bra. If your fingers do not fit, it is too tight. If you are able to fit more than two fingers, it is too big. If your breasts are spilling at the top, then the bra is too small, con­sider buy­ing a big­ger cup.

Re­mem­ber, you need to be com­fort­able in your ex­er­cise cloth­ing in or­der to get the full ex­pe­ri­ence from your ses­sion.

A lot of women are un­aware that sim­i­lar to train­ing shoes, there are dif­fer­ent types of sports bras for dif­fer­ent types of ex­er­cises:


High in­ten­sity bras: Th­ese types of bras are suitable for high im­pact type of sports such as run­ning, ten­nis and soc­cer. Medium in­ten­sity bras: Th­ese bras can also be used for sports like ten­nis, but are mostly for work­ing out at the gym or spin classes. Low in­ten­sity bras: Th­ese are mostly worn for pi­lates and yoga classes.


Michael says it is ex­tremely im­por­tant to warm up be­fore and af­ter your work out.

“Ded­i­cate 15 min­utes to stretch­ing be­fore and af­ter your work out,” ad­vises Michael, adding that stretch­ing helps to in­crease your heart rate and en­ergy lev­els for the ses­sion ahead.

Cool down when you are done ex­er­cis­ing to avoid stiff­ness in your mus­cles.


Michael does not rec­om­mend head­sets for jog­ging.

“You might not hear a car hoot be­hind you or see other things hap­pen­ing around you. Ear­phones are safer to use at the gym,” he says.

For ex­am­ple, if you have your ear­phones while work­ing at the of­fice, you are likely to get lost in the mu­sic and not hear some­one call you. The same thing can hap­pen when you are jog­ging.

The only dif­fer­ence be­tween the two sce­nar­ios is, one is ex­tremely dan­ger­ous. If you feel you ab­so­lutely must use ear­phones, keep the mu­sic very low so you can still hear what is hap­pen­ing around you. Ear­phones can also get tan­gled around your hands and arms as you jog and be­come a ma­jor dis­trac­tion. They can also fall off while you are run­ning, caus­ing you to con­stantly put them back in, which is an­other dis­trac­tion.

How­ever, there are mod­ern head­sets that are per­fect for work­ing out and are not dis­tract­ing at all. Th­ese care­fully bal­ance on your ear and the wires are neatly tucked be­hind your ear in­stead of hang­ing in your face. You should also in­vest in wire­less ear­phones to avoid deal­ing with cords.


Michael says de­pend­ing on the time of day you jog, you might have con­tact with the sun.

“It is a good idea to use sun­screen on parts of your skin that are ex­posed to prevent your skin from burn­ing. A cap is also good to pro­tect your face from the heat.”


If you pre­fer to run in the late af­ter­noons, you need to wear shoes and cloth­ing that make you vis­i­ble to driv­ers.

Michael sug­gests a re­flec­tor jacket be­cause it is hard to miss. He says there are some hand ac­ces­sories that are avail­able in sports shops that flicker as you run. Th­ese too are great for vis­i­bil­ity.


Lift­ing weights fo­cuses on strength train­ing.

“Pick­ing up weights in­cor­rectly can cause in­jury to your spine and mus­cles,” warns Michael.

“Al­ways keep your back straight and don’t take on too much at a time. Again, cor­rect train­ing shoes are im­por­tant.”


Try to take at least two days off a week from train­ing to avoid overworking your­self.

Jog­ging or run­ning with oth­ers will mo­ti­vate you to keep go­ing.

When you start gym, don’t be scared to ask the per­sonal train­ers to help you get it right.

Don't overdo it when work­ing out as it can lead to heart dam­age and rhythm dis­or­ders.

Re­mem­ber what the end goal is and have fun and en­joy your­self.

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