The pandemic brought us many bad things, but some new habits acquired during the period were beneficial. A survey by Strava, a platform for recording physical activities, revealed that there was an increase in the practice of physical activities in 2020 in Brazil.
The mixture of isolation and anxiety about the situation led many people to adapt their routines to train at home or outdoors, even as an outlet for dealing with the stress of the situation.
Whether you are a practically beginner or an already experienced athlete, some tips are important to continue training healthily and safely. Check out some of them:
1. Take a physical assessment
If you’ve been stuck for a long time or plan to engage in a high-impact activity, and you’re within your means, it’s worth checking your joints, flexibility, and body balance. The result of this will help when choosing the best physical activity and also prevent you from exposing yourself to the risk of having an injury.
2. Choose your shoes well
This will depend on the style of physical activity practiced. That’s because those with greater impact —such as walking or running— ask for shoes that can absorb this energy, protecting muscles, bones and tendons from fractures. Those with less impact (such as riding a bicycle) ask for lighter and more comfortable shoes.
3. Let your body breathe
The ideal outfit is also important—nothing worse than being training and feeling really, really hot; or some part of the body does not move properly because the part is “catching”. In general, it is recommended that the pieces be made of fabrics that let the body breathe (thus helping to cool down), light and comfortable, precisely to leave the body with range of motion.
4. Stay hydrated
Drinking water during physical activity is essential — dehydration will cause your performance to be reduced. The ideal is to drink preventively and not wait to get thirsty because, in this case, the body is already showing signs that it is suffering from dryness.
It is recommended to drink at least two liters of water throughout the day, in fractions. And, during exercise, take a little—100 or 200 ml at most—at a time so you don’t feel like a full stomach as you move.
5. beware of the sun
If you train during the day, avoid times when the sun is more intense, usually between 10am and 4pm. In addition to punishing the skin and causing discomfort, the heat will require more sweating from the body to keep the internal temperature stable, increasing water loss and compromising performance.
6. Eat before training
Most experts recommend eating before training to avoid a hypoglycemic state—when there is a low blood glucose level, causing symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, and sweating. In order not to weigh down your stomach, the ideal is to opt for small portions of food that release energy quickly, such as easily digestible carbohydrates.
However, this is not a rule: many people who train in the morning, for example, are unable to ingest anything before exercising. If that doesn’t affect income and well-being, it’s okay to stay that way. Just eat a meal after exercising to ensure that the body can recover from the exertion.
7. Find a cardiologist
Especially if you’ve never visited one. It is important to carry out a cardiological check-up to detect possible cardiovascular diseases that can interfere with sports practice or cause health problems. An evaluation can include tests such as an electrocardiogram and even an exercise test, if the doctor deems it necessary.
8. Pay attention when choosing activities
The choice for the sport is very personal and should take this taste into account, as this is the only way to stay faithful to the practice and create a routine to exercise.
But other factors must be taken into account as well. If you’ve been stuck for a long time, for example, starting with a low-intensity activity and evolving gradually is a good idea. On the other hand, those with a history of injuries need to avoid sports that might cause new problems, or reinforce supplemental training to create a muscle structure that supports exercise.
9. Switch stimuli
The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends the practice of physical activity at least five times a week. But that doesn’t mean the same modality every day. Moving different muscle groups and parts of the body brings gains for overall health, for motor coordination and also prevents overload, preventing injuries.
10. Listen to your body
There is a myth that exercise, to be effective, must hurt. But that’s not true. Feeling pain after the first day of weight training is normal. But the pain cannot be incapacitating and should subside after rest.
If, after the second day, the pain continues, it means that the body’s boundary has been violated—and then there is a high chance of an injury occurring. This goes for any practice: muscle pain may exist, but it shouldn’t be persistent. When in doubt, seek a doctor and suspend the activity until being seen.
11. Seek guidance
If it’s within your budget, seek expert advice. A physical education professional will be able to guide the training in a personalized way and help to optimize gains, in addition to preparing a personalized itinerary according to your needs.
exercise is medicine
This report is part of the campaign of Live well Exercise É Remédio, which aims to emphasize the importance of physical activity for health and give tips and ideas to combat sedentary lifestyles.
The contents address the importance of physical activity to prevent and treat diseases, the signs your body gives when you don’t move enough, tips to make exercise a habit, and find out which one suits you best, essential care to get started to move, including in old age and inspiring reports from people who have treated serious health issues with physical activity. But there’s so much more. Check out all the campaign content here.
This is the third campaign in a series of Live well which has brought thematic content to help fight the problems that many people face in their daily lives and contribute to your health and well-being.
The first was Overcome Postpartum Depression, held in March; and the second was “Have a Healthy Mouth” in June.
Sources: Ana Paula Simões, orthopedist, sports doctor, president of Spamde (São Paulo Society of Sports Medicine); Diego Leite de Barros, physiologist at Hospital do Coração – HCor and executive director of DLB Assessoria Esportiva; Eduardo Gama, sports doctor and specialist in nutrition applied to exercise at Care Club Ipanema, in Rio de Janeiro; Agnes Remigio, a cardiologist at the Hospital das Clínicas at UFPE (Federal University of Pernambuco), which is part of the Ebserh Network; Iris Felicio, a physical trainer specializing in injury prevention and rehabilitation at da On – Centro de Evolution Corporal, in São Paulo; Nemi Sabeh Jr., orthopedist and surgeon in the specialty core of Hospital Sírio-Libanês, medical coordinator of the women’s soccer teams in Brazil; Rachel Penha e Silva, a nutritionist from São Paulo; Roberto Moreira, physical trainer at Clínica Mais, in São Paulo.