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Exercise Safety

Regular exercise is beneficial for everybody, in both physical and psychological aspects. For the elderly, attention to exercise safety is important to avoid accidents.

Before exercise:

  1. Do not exercise on an empty stomach or just after a big meal. It is important to have breakfast before exercise to prevent exhaustion. Do not drink too much beverage before swimming to avoid choking due to vomiting
  2. Wear comfortable clothing, socks and shoes. Select the correct size, soft upper, non-slip sole and shock-absorbing shoes.
  3. Bring adequate water so as to replenish the loss of water from your body.
  4. Avoid exercising in extreme weather.
  5. Perform 5 to 10 minutes warm up and stretching exercise before start so as to prevent injuries.
  6. Do not forget to perform cool down and stretching after exercise for the body to gradually return to resting state.

Exercise Precautions

  1. Choose appropriate exercise according to your ability and interest. Do not overexert yourself.
  2. Stop exercising if you have acute medical symptoms (such as fever, or pain).
  3. If you have chronic medical conditions (such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, ischaemic heart disease and arthritis), it is better to seek advice from your doctor or physiotherapist beforehand.
  4. If you experience dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, vomiting, nausea or severe pain during exercise, stop exercising and seek medical advice as soon as possible.
  5. For prolonged exercise like hiking, drink water from time to time to supplement the loss of body fluid due to sweating. Do not wait until you are thirsty.
  6. During exercise, maintain normal breathing and don't hold your breath.
  7. Take appropriate breaks during exercise. Do not over-exert yourself.
  8. Keep up with the moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for at least 150 minutes per week and strengthening exercise for 2-3 times per week so as to derive the maximum benefit.
  9. Exercise with friends. Having a companion can often add enjoyment, and provides opportunity for mutual encouragement and support.

Proper management of injuries

  1. In the event of an injury, e.g. sprain injury, stop exercising right away to prevent any further damage.
  2. Keep calm and rest in a safe place.
  3. If you experience muscle cramps, you can stretch the muscle and massage it gently, but do not bounce or stretch it forcefully.
  4. The proper treatment for sprain is RICE
    R (rest the injured part)
    I (ice-pack application)
    C (compression by applying an elastic bandage)
    E (elevate the swollen parts)
    Do not massage vigorously as it may cause further injury.
  5. Extreme pain, rapid swelling, severe bruising, decreased range of movement or deformity may be signs of fracture; one should seek help from a doctor immediately.