Sunday, December 24, 2006


Preventing Injury and Illness

Physical activity is good for your health, but it does stress and strain your body in ways that a more inactive lifestyle does not. If it's done too suddenly or without basic precautions, exercise can lead to injury or illness.

Even if you have long been active and are fit, keep safety in mind. Do not assume that basic precautions do not apply to you.

The most important ways to avoid injury and illness are to:

-Learn about the risks of any new activity you begin. Take lessons, if appropriate.

-Always use the safety gear that is recommended for your chosen activity, such as helmets and knee pads. Learn about the use and proper fit of safety equipment.

-Begin an exercise routine slowly and gradually increase intensity.

-Pay attention to your body's signals, such as pain and fatigue, when starting a new activity or when increasing the intensity of your physical activity. General muscle soreness is common when you try a new activity, but pain can mean you're injured. If you are very tired, you may be doing too much too soon.

Some injuries and illnesses related to physical activity include the following:

-Dehydration may result from losing too much water through sweating and failing to replace it by drinking as you exercise. Follow these guidelines for avoiding dehydration when exercising.

-Heat exhaustion, heatstroke, or dehydration may result from exercising in heat and humidity. Review these guidelines for exercising in hot and humid weather.

-Overuse injuries can happen to anyone who overuses certain joints or muscles. Doing too much too soon or intensive exercise and sports can lead to overuse injuries.

-Exercise-induced asthma can occur regardless of whether you have asthma at any other time.

-Overtraining can cause fatigue and irritability as well as increased risk for injury and illness.

-Heart attach is rare, but you should be aware of its symptoms.

Symptoms of a heart attack
Symptoms of a heart attack include:
-Chest discomfort or pain that is crushing or squeezing or feels like a heavy weight on the chest. Pain may spread from the chest to the back, neck, jaw, or to one or both shoulders or arms.
-Shortness of breath.
-Nausea or vomiting.
-Dizziness or lightheadedness.
-A fast or irregular heartbeat.

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