The benefits of regular exercise extend beyond weight management, including a better mood, increased energy, glowing skin, and disease prevention. However, you must train carefully in order to avoid common exercise risks, which include improper posture, overworking joints and muscles, and too-frequent gym sessions – resulting in injuries large and small.
Reaping only the health benefits of exercise is simple - if you pay attention to the following signs that you are working your body too hard:
1. No Pain, No Gain?
Take this fitness maxim with a grain of salt. Your body is intelligent, and when one of your limbs or joints sends pain signals, it’s letting your brain know that either you’ve overworked it or are using it incorrectly.
It’s essential that you avoid the latter and long-term injury by learning the proper form before you undertake a new activity or sport – and consciously analyze your form throughout. One of the most common causes of injury at the gym is lifting. Ask a certified trainer to teach you how to position your body and engage the appropriate core or isometric muscles when you lift, especially on specific weight machines. If you’re employing proper form and still feeling pain, you are experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) from a previous rigorous workout and should give yourself a rest day, at least for that subset of muscles.
2. Trouble catching ZzZs
Getting restful sleep should be easier with regular exercise. If you find yourself unable to sleep at night, you may either be working out and re-energizing too late in the evening, or overworking yourself. An overworked body will often keep your sympathetic nervous system buzzing late into the evening. It’s essential that if you had restless sleep the night before, you exercise lightly or skip a day to allow your mental clock to wind down.
3. Gym addiction
Although not classified as a disorder by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, exercise addiction is very real. If you find yourself anxious for a majority of the day in anticipation of your workout, re-arranging major obligations for extra work out time, reliant on exercise for happiness, and working out for hours at a time, you may be addicted to exercise and should seek professional help.
Exercise should be a priority and supplement to your life but should not replace everyday needs, not to mention that your body could be in serious harm without proper recovery time. Your muscles may be overworked and in shock, and your immune system is especially susceptible to illness.
4. Halted progress
If you notice your body and progress levels stagnating, you may be tearing your muscles or burning your muscles in over-training. Over-exercising can also cause your body stress, spiking your cortisol levels and increased fat disposition. In this case, pull back and allow yourself rest days with proper nourishment. Consult a trainer about alternating arm or leg exercise days so you can avoid this in the future.
CATEGORIES: Workout, Fitness, Exercise, Gym, Injury, Exhaustion, Rest, Addiction