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Safe Exercise

When you are trying to get fit, there are certain things you can do to stay safe. But what exactly is “Safe Exercise”? Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine contributor Jenny Beadle, the wellness and membership executive for the Bob Sierra Family YMCA is here to talk to us about how to keep exercise safe.

How would you define “Safe Exercise”?
Safe exercise could pertain to a variety of topics, including range of movement, heart rate ranges, hydration and mode of exercise.  The number one thing to understand is your personal strengths and limitations and how to work within them.

What modes of exercise are considered safe?
In general, low-impact exercises are safe for the majority of people.  These include walking, cycling, swimming, water aerobics and basic strength training. People have a tendency to think that being fit or going to the gym has to be running and jumping and doing really high-intensity, high-impact stuff, but that’s simply not the case.  All you need to do is move, and move in a way that is comfortable and enjoyable to you.

What do you mean when you say “heart rate range”?
People of different ages and fitness levels have a different maximum heart rate, which is the number of times their heart can safely beat per minute.  The American College of Sports Medicine uses the basic equation of 220 minus Age to estimate the maximum heart rate of an individual, but fitness professionals train people at a percentage of this range, based on their goals and their abilities.  People looking to improve athletic performance will train at higher percentages, while the rest of us are just trying to be healthy and active, so we train at a little bit lower percentage.

What does hydration have to do with safety in exercise?
Hydration levels and calorie intake are both really important factors in safe exercise.  A restrictive calorie intake and/or dehydration can lead to serious injuries. People become faint, dizzy, pass out or other things that could be considered life-threatening conditions.  It’s important to make sure that your body is properly fueled and properly hydrated so it can perform at its best.

For information on YMCA’s healthy summer programs and more wellness tips, visit TBParenting.com.

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