Exercising at home, is it causing you harm?

marcom@healthxchange.com.sg (healthxchange.sg)
·3-min read

Exercising at home can be a great alternative to exercising at the gym with all the pandemic restrictions in place, but how do you ensure your home workout isn't causing you more harm than good?

Dr Fadzil Hamzah, Senior Staff Registrar from the Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine at Changi General Hospital (CGH), a member of the SingHealth group, has tips.

1. Ensure your exercise space is clear

Designate a corner in your home as your workout spot. Make sure your environment is clear of any hazards, obstacles and obstructions, and has sufficient room for the activity of choice.

Check the floor for kids’ toys, books, weights, and anything else that could get in the way and cause you to trip and fall or hurt yourself — and that goes for after your workout, too.

2. Dress appropriately (even though you’re working out at home)

Wear clothes that are loose, comfortable and allow you to move freely while you exercise. In general, avoid any clothing that gets in the way of the activity.

Read more: Try these workouts at home! Exercises for all ages and fitness levels

3. Shoes (when to wear, when not to wear)

For all exercises, look at the surface on which you are performing the exercises, as it might not be a safe fit for shoeless training. Workouts like yoga and pilates can typically be performed without shoes.

If you sweat a lot in cardio workouts, wearing shoes may help you avoid slipping on the floor and getting injuries. When your workout is packed with plyometrics or jumping moves, keeping your shoes on will minimize the impact on your feet. Shoes will also protect your feet from objects on the floor or the weights that may slip off your hands during your workouts.

Avoid wearing the shoes you wore outside to make sure that you are not bringing in outside germs especially at the time of a pandemic.

4. Clean your exercise equipment when done

Even if you’re working out using your own personal home fitness equipment, you still want to wipe down your equipment after using it. This is because any equipment can easily spread germs through sweat.

Even if you are the only one who uses the equipment, you still want to maintain and clean it. This is why you should have a disinfectant spray bottle handy along with a towel even when exercising at home.

Practise basic hygiene such as avoid touching your face unnecessarily, washing your hands immediately after your workouts, washing up and changing to a new set of clothes after exercise to reduce the risk of infections.

Read more: Discover the secret to unlocking your fat-burning zone

5. Know your body

There are many free workouts available online, but everyone has different goals, priorities, and different fitness levels. Listen to your body. You should not experience any pain during or after the exercise. Mild soreness over one to two days is normal but acute bone or joint pain that does not subside with time means you are doing something wrong and should therefore discontinue the exercise.

If you have never exercised but want to kickstart a regular routine (good for you!) but make sure to take it slow and progress gradually. Being too ambitious and starting a workout routine that you think will push you a lot and then doing that for a few days in a row, could result in overuse injuries, which will deter you from exercising eventually.

6. Always warm up and cool down

With any physical activity, proper warm up and cool down is critical to reduce the risk of injury.

7. Most importantly, have fun!

No matter what type of workout you do, it is important that you are enjoying every move. You want to exercise to build habits so you can keep exercising in the long-term without sustaining any injuries.

Read more: Effective home remedies for common running injuries

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