A note on safety

Although exercise is good for health, it’s important to exercise safely.  The programs on this site should be appropriate for anyone in good health, as long as the instructions are followed properly.  If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, then you should consult your GP or other relevant health professional (eg physiotherapist, midwife) before exercising:

  • Have you been inactive for several months or more?
  • Are you over 40 and not currently active?
  • Have you had any recent injuries or joint pain?
  • Are you very overweight or underweight?
  • Do you have a medical condition?
  • Are you pregnant or have you recently given birth?

Warming up, cooling down and stretching

Warm-up exercises prepare your muscles and joints for the more strenuous exercise to come. Some of the workouts included on this site can be done without a warm up. These are generally mat-based workouts that aren’t over-strenuous and don’t take joints through large ranges of movement. Some of the workouts are also arranged so that the first exercise serves as a warm-up. Where a specific warm-up is required, instructions are given.

You need to cool down after cardio exercises that raises your heart rate for a prolonged period. This is to allow your circulation to gradually adjust to your heart rate coming back down and avoid blood pooling. For walking and running challenges, cooldown will be walking at normal pace. For other cardio challenges (or high intensity challenges that need a cooldown), cooldown instructions are given. This will usually be marching in place for a couple of minutes while your heart rate returns to normal.

Stretching has many benefits and it’s good to stretch all the major muscle groups several times a week. Muscles should be warm before they are stretched, which means that after a workout is an ideal time to stretch. However, stretching is NOT an essential part of a cooldown. If you want to stretch after your challenge exercises, you can use this stretching guide.