• CAUTION

    Before attempting an exercise program, you should contact your physician for a physical examination and physician's approval of the planned exercise regimen.


    Do not begin any exercise regimen before having a coach or instructor demonstrate the proper use of the equipment, show the correct exercise form and breathing techniques, and help you set up a pre-conditioning program.  Your heart, muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues should be progressively preconditioned to withstand the possible stress of exercise and help prevent possible injury.


    DRESS APPROPRIATELY

    • Good athletic running shoes that are properly fitted and designed to give support
    • No leather soled shoes
    • Correctly fitted socks (white, clean and wick moisture).
    • Do not overdress.  It is hard to stay in target training zone if you are overheated.
    • Wear loose fitting clothing.  Tight fitting cloths restrict your blood flow.
    • Do not wear rubber or plastic attire.  These may cause your body temperature to rise too quickly.
    • An elastic waistband is more practical than a belt.
    • Choose sports attire made of all or part cotton. Cotton allows for evaporation of perspiration.
    • Clothing should adhere to the school dress code.
    • You should bring your own towel.

    SAFETY TIPS FOR USING EXERCISE MACHINES

    • Use perfect form while on a resistive machine (if you cannot use perfect form, you are using too much weight).
    • Use the full range of motion while on a resistive machine (if you cannot use the full range of motion, you may be using too much weight).
    • Complete 12 repetitions while on a resistive machine with the 30-second time period. This is the ideal pace.  (If you can do more than 12 repetitions in 30 seconds the weight is to light, if you cannot do more than eight repetitions in 30 seconds then the weight is too heavy).
    • Watch for buttons, loose strings or long hair that could be caught on a resistive machine and cause injury.
    • Wipe machine dry after using it (both as a courtesy and for sanitation reasons).

    GENERAL RULES FOR SAFE EXERCISE

    • Always train in your target-training zone to get the maximum effects.
    • Avoid over doing it (exercise within your limits. If you cannot talk while exercising, you are working too hard.)
    • Avoid doing anything that causes pain (avoid intensity levels that cause pain.  If you are experiencing pain, you are over exercising or stretching too far).
    • Stop and cool down if you are feeling dizzy (keep moving slowly and inform the instructor).
    • Avoid exercising outside in the heat of the day.
    • Use sunscreen protection when exercising outdoors.
    • Avoid exercising with exposed skin in extremely cold weather (sweat and cold can produce frostbite).
    • Always have plenty of water (especially on hot days, dehydration is very dangerous).

    BENEFITS OF FITNESS

    • Gives you more energy; Additional strength helps you expend less energy on everyday tasks.
    • Helps you sleep better; Less stress.
    • Aids digestion; When you are fit, all your internal systems work more efficiently.
    • Increases the lean muscle mass in you body. It also increases your rate of metabolism to help burn calories.
    • Relieves tension and stress.
    • Helps prevent heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases.  Aerobic exercise strengthens the heart and makes it more efficient
    • Increases bone density:  Mechanical stress on bones helps to strengthen them.
    • Helps regulate weight control and improve body composition.  Lean muscle mass increases your metabolic rate.
    • Builds self-confidence and self-esteem for a better attitude and self-image.
    • Exercising as a group enables you to socialize while getting fit.
    • May add a few years to your life and quality to those years that you have. 
    •  Reduces risk for many diseases.
    • Improves your ability to participate in recreational sports activities by giving you strength, energy and endurance.
    • Counteracts major risk factors of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers as well as high blood pressure, obesity and sedentary lifestyles.
    • Improves muscular strength, flexibility and endurance: all of which improve physical performance.
    • Promotes a positive, lifelong attitude toward physical activity.

    GOAL SETTING

    • Set realistic goals; keeping your body type in mind.
    • Set time limits to your goal s (i.e., in the next year, by the 1st of next month)
    • Make your goals measurable (i.e.,increase by 15 %).
    • Make your goals personal, based on your skills and potential. 
    • Be positive; I will. I can.

    KEEPING FITNESS IN YOUR LIFE

    • Be consistent. Do not lay off for long periods of time. 
    • Create a routine that includes exercise. Make it a habit.
    • Find ambitious exercise partners. Keep each other encouraged and enthused.
    • Find a good workout facility with supervision.
    • Continually change frequency, duration and intensity of your workouts to combat boredom.
    • Stay informed on good exercise sources. Keep it basic. Watch out for fads or magical results.
    • Balanced cross training programs will always give you the best results for your efforts.
    • Periodic check-ups by a physician will help you exercise safely.
    • Be creative, lack of equipment or formal facility should be no excuse.