Exercise Precautions and Safety Tips

Physical activity carries risks as well as benefits. The most common adverse effects of physical activity are burnout and musculoskeletal injury. Depending on the type of activity, injury risk can be augmented with increased intensity, frequency and duration of activity. To minimise the risk of activity-induced injuries, you should be aware of the signs of over-exertion (such as breathlessness and muscle soreness), and take reasonable precautions.

Here are some exercise precautions and safety tips:

  • Wear comfortable clothing and well-padded shoes that can protect the heels and arches of the feet;
  • Put on appropriate gear for the activity, such as helmets and protective pads for cycling;
  • Always warm up before doing exercise and cool down afterwards to lower the risk of strains and sprains;
  • Take appropriate breaks during the activity;
  • Do not exercise with an empty stomach. Eat something light (such as toast with jam or skimmed milk) to give you some stamina. Do not exercise immediately after a full meal because this will affect digestion;
  • Replenish extra fluids before, during and after physical activity, especially for prolonged exercise like hiking;
  • Beware of the weather and environmental conditions. Avoid doing outdoor vigorous exercises in hot or humid weather;
  • Listen to the body. Do not exercise when unwell. If there is dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea or vomiting, or muscle and joint pain during exercise, stop the activity and seek medical advice as soon as possible.