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The human body can be likened to a machine, prepared for movement. In its frame and design, it explains the potent and effectual tendency of physical possibilities. The healthy state of mind and functionality of the body remains an integral parts of longevity. This determinant factor has necessitated a deliberate and informed attempt of planning physical activities with the aim of achieving acceptable level of fitness.

The knowledge gap in exercise amidst numerous controversial contributions have called for caution. Pertinently, just as drugs can be abused exercise can also be abused. Understanding the fundamentals of human anatomy (structure) and physiology (function) in relation to exercise remain important in exercise prescription. The following are recommended safety measures in exercise:

  • Consult your doctor: It is important to basically determine the state of your health. The doctor should be able to give you medical advice based on your present state of health, especially as it concerns exercise. If you are on medication, ask your doctor if you can still exercise.
  • Get appropriate exercise wear: The right running shoes, gym gloves, waist belt, wrist strap, among others, are important. Ensure you know the right use of these materials.
  • Use the right exercise principle and approach: The progressive principle entails starting exercise gradually from simple to relatively complex exercise. Warm-up for 10-15 minutes with mild simple movement like walking, skipping and stretching. You can return to similar activity after your main workout as cool down. Other principles include the loading principle which explains the gradual build-up (exercise intensity) of each training unit to prevent over-training which in itself can result in injury.
  • Seek professional help: Apart from the doctor’s reports which will guide your level of exercise intensity, professional fitness experts will be an added advantage. This is largely dependent on the peculiarity of individuals, except in a case of special health situations which require testing, planning, monitoring and assessment of exercise. A professional trainer will request some information about your health statutes.
  • Follow the correct use of exercise machines: There are various makes and models of exercise apparatus. You may not always have familiar machines to work with. Endeavour to study their use and when you are in doubt ask the gym attendant/trainer. Observe the chart and caution signs which are always on the machine, never attempt to improvise with any machine especially if you are a beginner. Maintaining the right form of exercise will allow you to maximize the machine and minimize accident.
  • Plan your exercise: Exercise plans may require basic knowledge or professional input. Most and outdoor exercise like walking, jogging, climbing, hiking and others will require proper planning. Participants with special health conditions must take along some items like their medical information. Light colour wears, especially in the evening, tracking device, mobile phone are other necessities. Having a partner or joining a group could also be sensible.
  • Seek relevant exercise information: It is important to establish that most information online are not addressing the peculiarity of individuals in relation to exercise. Ex-athletes who are familiar with performance-related fitness may not understand health-related fitness needs. Fitness enthusiasts who are genetically gifted may not identify with basic principles that are required in planning, instructing and evaluating exercise. There are various approaches to exercise but the principles must be followed. Authenticate the source of your information, ensure you are not carried away by unverified claims. For beginners, verify if the source is from professional body, member of a certified professional body or a certified exercise expert.
  • Listen to warning signs: Be a student of your own body. Do not ignore warning signs which may include dizziness, feeling fainting or light headed, chest pain and difficulty in breathing. Stop exercise immediately if need be and talk to your trainer and doctor. Note that you don’t have the same level of fitness as everybody and your health status differs.

The true tales of the present generation has continually placed demand on the need to exercise. These narratives remain valid as substitutes to a sedentary living which cuts short life expectancy and incapacitates the functionality of the human body. Due to wrong exercise approach many have died, some have sustained injury that has stopped their fitness pursuit, and many more are afraid to exercise.

An informed foundation of exercise approach and safety measures remain a must, to serve as a guide and precaution. Peculiarities and diverse expressions are built on scientifically established principles. The need for such information should be a personal and deliberate pursuit.

Featured Image Source: Mirafit

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This article was first published on 25th September 2019


Wale Haastrup has joint honours degrees in Human Kinetics and Health Education. He is a professionally certified Grade 2 Coach in Athletics and Training and a formal team fitness and conditioning manager of a rugby club. Wale's experience spans close to two decades as a sports teacher, fitness/sports coach and consultant. He is a member of sports management professional bodies and has been published in several academic journals. Wale is presently concluding his doctorate degree in Sports Administration and Management at the University of Lagos. He is passionate about Nigeria and strongly believes that Jesus mentors and inspires him.

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