Starting an Exercise Routine or Sport

Why Warm Up Before Exercising

To start and activity/exercise program we need to get loose. In the mornings on arising we are stiff and have to loosen up. We stretch and move slower until we feel limber. To do so is easier in the summertime than in the wintertime.

Stiff, cold muscles and joints are easier to injure. They are tight and not limber.

Stretching Before Exercise (recommended 5-10 minutes)

Start gently and slowly to awaken the muscles and joints, to increase breathing, and to increase the heart rate.

Standing and Stretching
Reach for the sky.
Hug yourself.
Look to the shoulders, the floor and the sky.
Bend sideways at the waist – to the left and then the right.
Bend towards the floors– go as far as you can comfortably, and with time you will go further.
Stand in front of a wall with your legs crossed while leaning toward the wall ?Then cross your legs the other way to reverse the position.
Bend the knees with the feet approaching the buttocks

Stretching on the Floor or Bed
Sit on the side of the bed and bend toward the toes-hang arms to the floor
Sit crossed legged slowly try and get the soles of the feet together uncrossing the legs dropping the knees to the flat surface
Fold yourself forward over the legs from the hips
Start all activity slowly, increasing the speed of the activity within the first 10 to 15 minutes.
School age youth should participate everyday in 60 minutes or more of moderate vigourous physical activity that is enjoyable and developmentally appropriate (Strong, W.B. M.D. June 05 AmJPeds.)
Exercising each day burns 100-400 calories (ACSM fitness and aging)


Overweight and obesity have become epidemic in multicultural populations, especially in African-American women, and then Latinas (Latino women). Childhood and teen obesity are also increasing rapidly. Obesity and Overweight Race & Ethnicity Tables in our Health Trends and Other Data section show the severity of these conditions.
Check our Overweight and Obesity Section to determine if you know the leading factors contributing to Overweight and Obesity.

Remember: Knowledge + Action = Power!® 

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