If you’ve headed back to the gym or are trying to stick to a 2017 resolution, make sure you are taking the proper safety precautions. Please take a moment to read the safe exercise guidelines below.

Take Your Time

Remember, moderation is the key to safe exercise. If you take off a month or two from exercising, don’t expect to pick up where you left off. Getting in shape takes time and it’s important to listen to your body to avoid injury.

Diet + Exercise = Success

Proper nutrition and exercise complement each other well. Staying on track with nutrition can be difficult, but it’s important to give your body plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and water.

Warm Up

It’s important to prepare for an exercise even before stretching. You can do this with a few jumping jacks, breathing slowly and deeply, or slowly going through the motions of the exercise.


Stretching can help decreases muscle stiffness and increases range of motion. Never stretch to the point of pain and always maintain control. After a hard workout, stretching the muscles will keep them loose to avoid post-workout aches and pains.

Safe Equipment

When exercising in cold weather, dress in layers that can be removed and wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that are light are better for releasing body heat. Use shoes that provide you with support and are not too worn. Make sure you know how to properly use a piece of exercise equipment before trying it out.

Multiple Exercises

When you work out you should try to incorporate cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility exercises to keep you from getting bored. This combination of exercises will also lessen your chances of injury.

Drink Water

Always have enough to avoid dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. It’s a good idea to drink one pint of water 15 minutes before you start exercising and another pint after you cool down. Have a drink of water every 20 minutes or so while you exercise.

Cool Down

A good cool down should last twice as long as your warm up. Slow down and lessen the intensity of your exercise for at least 10 minutes before you stop completely.


Scheduling regular days off helps your body recover. Fatigue and pain are also good reasons to avoid exercising. For questions or to schedule an appointment with an OAM physician, please call 616-459-7101 weekdays 8 am – 5 pm.