Whether you’re a self-confessed fitness fanatic who works out regularly, or if you’re simply looking to begin exercising, it’s important to consider your safety.

Running everyday or going to the gym four times a week is all well and good, but sometimes working out can cause an injury to your body, should you not take care. This could leave you having to rest for weeks or even months, which means you won’t be able to carry out your normal exercise routine.

In order to ensure your workout is as safe as possible and to reduce the risk of injury, here are a few steps you should follow:

Warm up and cool down

Before your workout, perform some light stretches and go through the motions of your sport or activity to get you warmed up for more vigorous movements.

Once you have finished exercising, cool off with some slow stretches to relieve any tight muscles or aches.

Stay hydrated

As you sweat, your body loses water, which can leave you feeling dehydrated. It is important, therefore, to replace this loss by drinking water during and after your workout. Keep a water bottle handy, or if you are carrying out high-intensity exercise, you may wish to drink a specialised sports drink to replace your body’s electrolytes.

Listen to your body

Another way to stay safe is to listen to your body. If you are ill or tired, take a break and rest. Pushing your body when it is telling you to stop will only result in further illness or injury.

Similarly, if you are performing a certain exercise that makes you feel different to usual, have a rest and then carry out a different exercise.

You may feel slightly faint or your muscles might feel sore after working out, in which case you should take a day or two to rest and allow your body to recover.

Replace footwear

Wearing the same footwear for every workout will eventually cause the cushioning to wear down and make them unstable. If you continue to wear your shoes, you could cause yourself an injury, such as a sprained ankle.

It is advised, therefore, to replace your footwear every six months.

Dress properly for cold weather

Now that autumn is upon us and with winter fast approaching, you should dress according to the weather conditions.

If you run or perform other forms of exercise outdoors, wear thermal sports clothes that work to keep you warm while allowing your body to breathe properly.

No wearing the right clothing in cold weather can result in health problems, such as hypothermia.

Be sensible

If you are exercising outdoors at night, be sensible. In other words, don’t run in lonely or secluded areas. Stick to pavements along busy roads and ensure you wear reflective clothing to alert vehicles of your presence.