Here’s what happens. You are at work and suddenly get the idea that you simply must improve your health and fitness. With this, you make your way to the department store during her lunch break and you pick out a new outfit. Then, after work, instead of lazing on the couch until you made your way to bed, you go for a run. You run around the block as many times are you can until you can’t run anymore.

Prevent Injuries

You feel pretty good about yourself and probably make a status update about it.

Here’s what happens the next day. You wake up and wonder if you will ever walk without pain again, vowing to never undertake any form of exercise again in your life.

Sound familiar?

Below are some tips to help you prevent injury as you make the move to improve your health and fitness levels.

Slow and Steady Doesn’t Win the Race

But that doesn’t matter because you aren’t in a race! Now that we have that cleared up, be sure to take it easy when you first start to exercise.

If you literally do nothing after work short of sitting on the couch, the consider a nightly walk around the block a few times at a casual pace an achievement and build from that. This level of exercise is not only a great way to ease into things but can also give you a good idea as to your current fitness level, helping you to consider your next step up.

Remember, take it easy as and don’t reach your fitness goals straight away!

The Right Gear for the Right Task

If there was one thing that the person in the example above did right, it was to head to the store to pick up fitness gear. However, it doesn’t have to be the most expensive, it just has to be appropriate. For example, a loose fitting tank from the Groupon Coupons page for American Eagle is a better choice for cardio based exercises than something firmer fitting which can restrict movement and cause problems of its own. Similarly, if you are taking up running then your regular sneakers just aren’t going to cut it.

As comfortable as they are, they aren’t built to take the impact of running and can lead to serious foot, ankle, and knee injuries.

Stretch Before and Stretch After

The pain that you feel the next day is caused by a buildup of lactic acid. While it’s there to help your muscles repair and strengthen, it comes with a lot of uncomfortable. While you can’t eliminate it entirely, you certainly can minimize the pain you feel from it.

Before each exercise session, be sure to stretch your whole body. This opens up any tense muscles and prepares them for the torture ahead. Then, once your exercise has been completed, be sure to give them all another stretch. This time, the act of stretching also encourages the flow of blood and oxygen to your muscles, helping to them to start the recovery process faster and negate the need for as much pain the next day.

Improving your fitness level is a great goal for everybody to have, however, is one given up on too often simply because it was taken on without correct preparation.