If there’s one important lesson we’ve learned during the pandemic, it’s that we should NEVER ignore our health. As we stayed at home to keep ourselves safe from the Covid-19 virus, social media launched various fitness challenges that targeted everything from abs to legs to upper body. Planks to squats, dumbbells to resistance bands – everything and more in these fitness challenges.
Are fitness challenges safe?
While they may sound exciting, these exercises are NOT for everyone. It’s your fitness level that determines whether your body is ready for a certain workout or not! And that was confirmed by none other than Meenakshi Mohanty, a renowned fitness expert.
Here’s what she tells HealthShots! “Before starting your exercise, it is always advisable to check your fitness levels. A fitness assessment is a set of exercises used to examine your overall health and physical condition. These exams involve a number of standardized tests, some of which are designed for medical purposes and others that determine whether you are eligible to participate.”
These tests are designed to keep you safe and provide your trainer with the information they need to set clear and effective training goals.
What are some of these tests before diving into fitness challenges?
The different tests include:
- General health assessment
- Strength and endurance test
- cardiovascular endurance test
- body composition test
Checking your health helps you assess your physical condition before embarking on the wave of fitness challenges. The amount of physical activity you need is determined by your fitness goals, whether you’re trying to reduce weight or stay in shape and tone your body.
“When you start training without any consultation or consideration of your fitness levels, your body starts to ache, which means something is wrong. Your body can handle the pain for a while, but eventually, it will break down. As you deal with the pain and weakness, lack of flexibility sets in, which leads to bed rest and no training,” adds Mohanty.
the side effects
The expert explains that injuries can be sustained by various forms of training, such as weight training, martial arts and sports-specific training. Overuse musculoskeletal injuries often occur in runners, while strain and sprain, as well as Achilles tendonitis, are common injuries that occur while performing physical activities.
“This is why doing a physical assessment of yourself is essential as it helps to identify potential health risks or areas of injury. Also, recording the body’s initial fitness level motivates a person to train harder and work to be the best version they can be,” adds Mohanty.
Here are some tips to help you improve your fitness:
1. Injury can occur at any time, but there are steps you can take to help minimize long-term pain before, during, and after exercise.
2. Allow yourself to warm up for at least five minutes before starting to exercise.
Take some time after the warm-up to gently stretch the muscles. It is important not to start jumping directly.
3. It is critical to use the right equipment during training. This includes gym clothes and accessories, for example shoes suitable for your foot type (high arch, flat foot, neutral foot) as well as comfortable clothes and socks. If the shoe is custom-made for your foot, you will need to replace it from time to time. If the footboard is worn out, it should be replaced sooner.
4. The importance of cross training cannot be overstated. One should also consider stepmaster or elliptical trainer and cycling, swimming, yoga and Pilates while exercising.
5. It is advisable to cool down after exercise by stretching.
The last word
Your physical strengths and limitations are identified through fitness tests. For example, you may have excellent stamina and endurance for cardiovascular training, but lack upper body strength. Your trainer can use this information to create a training plan that will highlight your skills while addressing your flaws. For each type and condition, there are different exercises.
“For example, physical activity can help you manage your asthma symptoms if you approach it correctly. Exercise improves overall lung health by increasing lung capacity and decreasing inflammation. If a person with asthma is not used to exercising like running, jogging or soccer, taking in a physical exercise can be too much for them all at once. Exercise should be avoided in cold, dry environments. Exercising in cold conditions like ice hockey, skiing and other winter activities is more likely to trigger asthma attacks,” says Mohanty.
Here’s another example: Regular aerobic exercise is recommended for people with diabetes. Adults with type 2 diabetes should get at least 10 minutes of aerobic activity a day, with a goal of 30 minutes or more most days of the week. People with diabetes, especially peripheral neuropathy, should avoid high-impact exercise such as running and jumping.