Physical Therapy in Northern Virginia for Exercise
Welcome to Dynamics Physical Therapy's guide for selecting exercise equipment. We recommend a few general considerations for selecting your equipment in order to stay comfortable and minimize injury while exercising.
Clothing for "class" activities such as yoga, pilates or aerobics in the gym should be stretchy, breathable, and comfortable. Depending on the temperature of the location, you will probably want to have the option of being in short sleeves and shorts as your body temperature will increase as you exercise. When walking, dress in comfortable clothing with layers, and depending on the weather, a head covering, sunscreen and sunglasses. It is a good idea to wear reflective clothing, and use a light if walking at dusk or dark. If you are walking longer than 30 minutes, it is recommended that you have a fanny pack or back pack for carrying water, for fluid replacement.
For pilates and yoga you may go barefoot, but in the aerobics studio or when out for a walk, supportive athletic shoes are required. Good athletic or walking shoes should have a flexible cushioned sole, arch support, traction, and preferably have laces to ensure a secure fit. If you do several types of exercise you may wish to purchase a cross-training shoe to allow you some of the flexibility of a running shoe, but the side to side support and grip of a court shoe.
You may be required to supply your own mat for yoga and pilates, and you will want to bring a towel to most types of classes. Boot camp style classes may require exercise bands or straps, so talk to your instructor before you attend.
Sun Protection Gear
If you are exercising outdoors apply sunscreen and lip balm before you start. Select clothing that will offer sun protection, including a hat.
Keeping hydrated will help you stay alert while exercising, may help to prevent muscle cramps, and will help your post exercise recovery. Taking your own water bottles to the class or while out on your walk helps you to keep track of your fluid intake. We recommend that you drink about 300-400 mL
(ref: http://www.ausport.gov.au/sportscoachmag/nutrition2/pre-event_nutrition) before you exercise, and 250mL (1 cup) of water or sports drink for every 20 minutes of exercise and for one hour after you are done. Your fluid requirements will vary depending on the environmental conditions and your body size. To check that you are adequately hydrating, you can weigh yourself before and after you exercise. If your weight remains the same then you are likely to be well hydrated.
Other Relevant Information
Dynamics Physical Therapy's Stretching Guide for Exercise
Dynamics Physical Therapy's Common Injuries -- Exercise