It's difficult to get in the habit of exercising. People put off starting a new exercise regime because of the fear of injuries and the fact that they don't have the time to exercise.

Exercise doesn't have to cause pain or injury. There are a few things you can do to avoid.

1. Warm up

Warm up before you start exercising. Warming up increases the temperature of the body. Your body is prepared for the increased stress of exercising.

The muscles that have been warmed up are able to exercise for longer.

Warming up varies from workout to workout. You should warm up with at least five to 10 minutes of work out.

Start with large, whole-body movements such as body-weight squats and lunges before moving on to more task specific actions, such as a walk or jog before running, or lifting light weights before weight training.

The warm-up shouldn't be hard. Try to use less than 60 percent of your effort.

Dynamic stretching, which moves a limb through its entire range of movement instead of holding the stretch, is not an effective strategy.

Self-massage tools such as foam rollers can help you warm up better. Two minutes of foam rolling has been shown to reduce muscle pain.

2. Don't overestimate what you can do

It's a mistake to do too much when starting an exercise regimen. It can lead to pain after working out, and increase your risk of injury.

It is important to start slowly and at your own pace.

Don't follow an exercise program that uses absolute distances or reps. Listen to what your body is telling you while you work out.

It can take weeks or even months to notice the benefits of exercising, so don't expect to see your health improve overnight.

Progress isn't always linear, and it can be difficult to exercise as hard as you did the previous session. Listen to your body and stop when you're tired.

3. Take time to recover

It's important to take a day or two off each week to recover. To be effective, you don't have to sit and do nothing.

In order to avoid pain and injury, active recovery is equally important. Walking or yoga can be included in active recovery.

One way to boost recovery is to work different muscle groups on different days. This will prevent your muscles from using the same movements over and over.

Aerobic exercise doesn't usually need as long a recovery period as strength training, so mixing up your exercises is still beneficial for avoiding injury. It will provide a more balanced workout.

Your body will recover if you alternate between running, swimming, cycling, or any other activity.

4. Learn proper form

When starting an exercise regime, it is important to develop correct form early on. Don't add too much weight in the beginning and try a range of different exercises. You can avoid injury if you execute the movements correctly.

If you're not sure about your form, ask a trainer for help. There are lots of online resources that can be used to guide your training. You may want to film yourself so you can see what your form looks like.

5. Invest in the right shoes

A good pair of shoes can make a big difference in your workouts. It's important that you have the right support and comfort for your runs.

If you want to protect vulnerable areas of your feet from overuse injuries, you don't need an expensive shoe.

If you want to start lifting weights, you should look for hard shoes that are stable. It is possible to achieve the proper ankle, knee, and hip angles with specialized weight training shoes. It will allow you to maintain proper form and reduce the risk of injury.

Don't let the fear of injury stop you from exercising. The benefits of exercise far outweigh the feeling of sore muscles. You are less likely to feel sore after exercising if you make it a habit.

Lewis Macgregor is a lecturer in sport and health.

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