Safe Exercise Advice from Orthopedic Surgeon


Dr. Tariq Niazi, Orthopedic Surgeon at Five Oaks Medical Group encourages his patients to exercise safely. "When people begin a new exercise program, they often push their bodies too far and put themselves at risk for injury. The common notion that exercise must be really hard or painful to be beneficial is simply wrong. Moderation is the key to safe exercise. Safe exercise programs start slowly and gradually build up in intensity, frequency, and duration."

In addition, if you have an existing health problem, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, a history of heart disease, or are a smoker, you should contact your doctor before beginning any vigorous physical activity.

Safe Exercise Guidelines:

Use Proper Equipment. Replace your athletic shoes as they wear out. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that let you move freely and are light enough to release body heat. When exercising in cold weather, dress in removable layers.
Balanced fitness. Develop a balanced fitness program that incorporates cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility. In addition to providing a total body workout, a balanced program will keep you from getting bored and lessen your chances of injury.
Warm Up. Warm up to prepare to exercise, even before stretching. Run in place for a few minutes, breathe slowly and deeply, or gently rehearse the motions of the exercise to follow. Warming up increases your heart and blood flow rates and loosens up other muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints.
Stretch. Begin stretches slowly and carefully until reaching a point of muscle tension. Hold each stretch for 10 to 20 seconds, then slowly and carefully release it. Inhale before each stretch and exhale as you release.
Take Your Time. During strength training, move through the full range of motion with each repetition. Breathe regularly to help lower your blood pressure and increase blood supply to the brain.
Drink Water. Drink enough water to prevent dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Drink 1 pint of water 15 minutes before exercising and another pint after you cool down. Have a drink of water every 20 minutes or so while you exercise.
Cool Down. Make cooling down the final phase of your exercise routine. It should take twice as long as your warm up. Slow your motions and lessen the intensity of your movements for at least 10 minutes before you stop completely. This phase of a safe exercise program should conclude when your skin is dry and you have cooled down.
Rest. Schedule regular days off from exercise and rest when tired. Fatigue and pain are good reasons to not exercise.

Dr. Tariq Niazi is available for all of your Ortho needs through the Orthopedic department of Five Oaks Medical Group along with fellow Orthopedic Surgeons Dr. Jordan and Dr. Kumar. Appointments can be made by calling 405-224-2100.