Department of Health & Human Services
Premiers Active April

Be active, be safe!

Exercising safety when you’re active is just as important as physical activity itself! Our friends at Sports Medicine Australia have put together a few handy tips on how to put safety first when you’re active.


Lack of fluid consumption during physical activity can lead to dehydration. Dehydration reduces performance and increases heart rate, body temperature and how hard you perceive an activity to be. You may become very tired and get stitches, cramps, heat stress or heat stroke.

Keep your fluids up

To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of fluids before, during and after physical activity. Drink at least 500ml (two cups) one hour before exercise, at least 150ml every 15 minutes during exercise and enough to fully re-hydrate after activity.  

Other ways to stay cool

As well as keeping your fluids up, remember to stay cool by:

  • slipping on light, long sleeved clothing
  • slopping on SPF 30+ sunscreen
  • slapping on a hat
  • sliding on sunglasses to protect your eyes
  • seeking shade

For more on hydration download the Drink Up fact sheet (PDF, 466KB, 1pp) or you can learn more by visiting the SMA’s Smartplay Program website.

Warm up, stretch and cool down

A warm up should be completed before physical activity. Warming up increases heat through the body and reduces the risk of tearing or straining muscles.

Begin with a warm up

Start an activity at a slower speed. The length of a warm up should depend on the weather – if it is cold, warm up for longer than if the conditions are hot or humid. 

Remember to stretch

After warming up, stretching should be done to improve flexibility. When stretching, stretch all the muscles involved in the activity, stretch gently and slowly, never bounce and keep breathing during the stretches. Hold each stretch for 10–20 seconds and stretch each body part 2–3 times.

Don’t forget your cool down!

After activity, remember to cool down. This helps prevents soreness and stiffness. To cool down do 2–3 minutes of light jogging or walking and 5–10 minutes of stretching.

For more on warm up, stretching and cool down download the Warm Up fact sheet (PDF, 1.2MB, 1pp) or you can learn more by visiting the SMA’s Smartplay Program website.


Last updated: November 29, 2016 at: 5:20 pm

© Department of Health & Human services, State Government of Victoria
Privacy Statement:
Copyright & Disclaimer Notice: