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Fitness tips: Proper technique=a better workout.

Naperville Sun:

Proper technique for optimal performance, protection from injury
By Cindy Eggemeyer
May 28, 2014

You wouldn’t suggest someone learn to swim by going to a nearby lake, jumping in the deep water and hoping for the best. But launching into other fitness activities without knowing proper technique also brings risk. It might be less obvious, but it’s just as real.

Without using proper form, exercisers can end up with anything from a sprained ankle, to tendonitis, to a permanent back injury. The degree of harm depends on their physical condition, the nature of the activity, and just how far their technique is off the mark.

If you’re thinking of adding a new activity or sport to your fitness mix — good for you! Keeping things varied is a great way to stay motivated. But if the new activity represents a big departure from your normal activity level, check with your doctor before beginning, especially if you’re older than 40 or have any medical conditions. The next step is to check the instructions with an expert to make sure you start your new fitness interest as safely as possible. For strength training or aerobic workouts, take a class, sign up for group or individual training sessions, or ask a fitness specialist at your gym if you are doing your exercises correctly. If you’re a would-be runner, consider joining a local running club. Many of these clubs teach running fundamentals.

There are some general things you can do to support proper technique no matter what the exercise. First, warm up with about 10 minutes of mild aerobic exercise, followed by active stretching. This means you’re stretching while moving. An example would be walking and hugging a knee into your body between steps.

Read the rest of Cindy's column and get more tips.


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