Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Health Tips for July 22

Health Tip: Saying Yes to Yoga?

Yoga has become a very popular form of relaxation and exercise. But as with any physical activity, you can still injure yourself if you don't prepare and practice properly.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers these suggestions to reduce your risk of injury from yoga:

  • Check with your doctor before beginning yoga to be sure it's safe for you.
  • Make sure your yoga studio offers qualified instructors. Always ask questions of your instructor if you're not sure how to perform a pose.
  • Be sure to warm up before yoga to prevent strains and injuries.
  • Wear yoga-appropriate clothing that won't restrict your movement.
  • Start out slowly learning the basics. Never push yourself to the point of pain.
  • Drink lots of fluids, particularly if you try Bikram ("hot") yoga.

Health Tip: If You're Tired of Walking

Walking is a great form of exercise -- you can burn calories, yet it's fairly easy on your feet and joints.

But if you're bored with your walking routine, the American Podiatric Medical Association offers these low-impact alternatives:

  • Take a swim, or sign up for a water aerobics class.
  • Take a dance class.
  • Sign up for an aerobics, Pilates or yoga class.
  • Hop on a bike and start pedaling, whether it's outdoors or on a stationary bike.
  • Use an elliptical machine.
  • Work out with some light weight lifting.
  • Remember the fun of childhood; exercise with a hula-hoop or jump rope.

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