If you want to stay healthy and avoid injury it is important to exercise safely. Here are some tips to help you stay safe and injury-free:

Stop if it hurts: Stop the activity immediately and seek medical advice if you feel discomfort or pain, become extremely breathless or develop an irregular heartbeat.

Warm up and cool down: Try slow stretches and go through the motions of your sport or activity before starting. Cool down with slow stretching.

Pace yourself: Training too hard or too fast can cause injury. Have at least one recovery day each week to rest. Working through any pain will cause more damage.

Mix it up: Try other sports and exercises to reduce the risk of overtraining.

Strap or tape: If a joint is prone to injury, consider strapping or taping it before exercising. Even better, see an exercise physiologist to obtain a program to strengthen the injured area and get advice on proper taping technique.

Stay hydrated: You can lose around one and a half litres of fluid of every hour of exercise, so drink water before, during and after a session.

Be weather aware: Take it easier in hot weather and wear clothing and sunscreen to protect you from the elements.

Do it right: Get the technique right, as improper form or technique can cause injury.

Check the gear: Make sure your shoes and equipment fit properly and are right for the activity. Look after your equipment and check it regularly for safety.

Be sensible: Especially at night or in secluded areas. Take a friend with you and stick to well lit areas and wear bright or light reflective clothing so drivers can see you.

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