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Safety is an extremely important aspect of any exercise activity. There are several aspects that must be considered. These include:
The condition of the facilities or site being used (i.e. exercise areas, toilets/locker rooms, access, etc.).
The activities being carried out (i.e. types of exercises).
Any equipment that is used.
Aerobics classes are conducted in the presence of others. The more people in the room the more dangerous it can be. Tripping, banging into walls and coming off a step onto someone else can all make the class dangerous (or annoying) for the participants and the instructor.
It is essential that each participant has adequate space around them to extend their limbs to the fullest capacity and travel if required. A class with many people might be great motivation for the clients, and be more cost effective to run, but harder work for the instructor with constant scanning for any problems.
SAFETY RELATED ISSUES
If clients are not constantly monitored and corrected, it is easy for incorrect movements to become common practice in an aerobic work out.
There are many exercises and stretches that are potentially dangerous and current research is always providing us with updates as to which stretches and exercises are, and are not suitable for different situations. Some important factors to remember during typical exercises that are often used in fitness regimes are:
Any movement where the knee bends forward has to ensure that it does not go over and past the toe. This places excess pressure on the knee and could cause injuries.
Constant impact and stress on the lower limbs (eg: more than a certain amount of running/aerobics per week) can cause many injuries. Stress fractures, also known as shin splints, or tendonitis, achilles tendon problems, and knee injuries due to poor alignment of the knee in regards to the lower leg, can all play a part in causing problems. Some of these can be corrected with rest, a visit to the podiatrist with orthotics being prescribed or physiotherapist appointments. These complaints and injuries have to be carefully monitored by the individual and the fitness leader.
Lower limb problems can also cause back pain and associated problems. If one aspect of a person's anatomical structure is not properly aligned it can create many other problems in areas far from the initial region.
SAFETY IN OTHER AEROBIC ACTIVITIES
Because of the wide variety of activities that may be considered as being an aerobic activity it is very difficult to provide detailed lists of safety precautions for each one.
There are some general rules that should be considered for all activities, include:
* Use the correct equipment, and ensure it is in good condition. This could range from well fitting shoes, with suitable soles for the conditions they are being used in; to wearing bright, reflective clothing that is easily seen (such as for runners using roads); and protective helmets (e.g. white water canoeists, cyclists).
* Avoid unnecessarily dangerous situations such as busy roads, poor weather, poor visibility (e.g. at night, foggy conditions), dangerous water conditions (for sports such as swimming, canoeing, surfing).
* Don't overdo any activity. Try for gradual increases in the intensity and duration of any aerobic activities you are undertaking.
* Be aware of any health conditions that participants may have, and the relevant medical clearances that should be obtained.
* Participants should be aware of their own personal limitations and exercise at a pace that is comfortable and appropriate to their needs. A suitable level of exercise can be determined in consultation with an experienced instructor, and where appropriate for those with existing health problems, a medical practitioner.
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