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Precautions for Strengthening Activities

Being more physically active can help you feel better, deal with stress more easily, and handle day-to-day activities more comfortably. To get the best results, it’s important to understand how to exercise safely so you don’t injure yourself.

Here are some precautions to keep in mind when you’re doing strengthening activities, like weight training or exercising with resistance tubes or bands.

If you haven’t done many strengthening activities before:

  • Be sure you know how to use exercise equipment properly and safely before you begin. Have a qualified exercise professional show you the correct techniques and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re not sure of anything.
  • Increase the amount of effort slowly so your muscles have a chance to adapt before moving onto anything more difficult. Only do exercises every second day so your muscles have time to recover.
  • To avoid injury, use controlled movements and correct lifting techniques. Ask a qualified exercise professional if you’re not sure.
  • If you’re lifting a heavy weight, have someone with you who can help.
  • If you are someone who has balance or coordination difficulties do activities sitting down. For activities where you have to stand, hold onto a chair for support.
  • If you can’t get up by yourself, don’t do activities on the floor. Only do floor exercises when someone is around to help you.
  • If you feel tired during an activity, take a break.

If you have high blood pressure:

  • Don’t do strengthening activities that involve exerting force above your head.
  • Don’t lie on a bench with your head lower than the rest of your body.
  • Don’t lift extremely heavy weights.

Last Reviewed: March 2017

© 2017 Province of British Columbia. All rights reserved. May be reproduced in its entirety provided the source is acknowledged. This information is not meant to replace advice from your medical doctor or individual counselling with a health professional. It is intended for educational and informational purposes only.