Boot camp workout regimens have long been associated with military physical fitness, but throughout the past five years they have gained more exposure to mainstream America. They are featured in prime-time weight-loss television shows and are now an alternative to traditional exercise programs. They have become popular due to the amount of calories that can be burned in a short time and can be made as challenging and unique as the instructor and participant cares to make them. These classes can help solve the common complaint of workout boredom.
Performed either indoors or outside, boot camp workouts typically blend military-style and athletic-performance drills. The workout is straightforward and intense. The challenge is to take your body to its limit, moving from one exercise to the next without the benefit of much rest. It can involve the use of calisthenics, free weights, and objects and tasks not normally employed in a typical workout.
As with any athletic workout, injuries may occur. Common injuries associated with boot camp programs include sprains, strains, low back pain, foot pain, stress reactions, fractures, scrapes, cuts, bruises, dehydration, and heat-related illnesses. Warning signs of an injury include joint pain, swelling, loss of motion, dizziness, nausea, and constant fatigue. Any of these conditions should be taken seriously and evaluated by a licensed physician before continuing the program.
Due to the intensity involved, understanding what is involved in a class and how to prevent injury is critical:
• Assess your abilities and know your limitations and restrictions.
• Modify moves to adjust intensity levels.
• Discuss any pre-existing conditions with your doctor prior to participating or beginning any new fitness program; a fitness assessment should be performed to gauge the level of training that is appropriate.
• Choose an instructor that has a national personal training and/or group fitness certification along with CPR and first aid.
• Get instructions about unique pieces of equipment and unfamiliar activities.
• Instructors should be willing to answer all your questions and focus on your workout, while avoiding the promotion of supplements, vitamins, or other moneymaking ventures.
Keeping these tips in mind, boot camp workouts can be a fun, challenging, and effective workout to help you safely achieve your health and fitness goals..
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