Workout Mistakes Can Be Dangerous to Your Health
We all know that exercise has many benefits, such as keeping trim, lowering risk of heart disease, lessening depression and the risk of cancer. It also has been shown to slow down the process of aging and help you think clearer. Regular exercise should be a part of your regular routine, right? It is generally accepted that people who exercise have better health than people who do not. However, some of the ways we go about our exercise can actually cause more harm than good.
Do not forget to stretch and warm up prior to rigorous exercise. Although stretching doesn’t guarantee you will not be sore the next day after an activity, stretching actually straightens and untangles the muscle fibers, making them more elastic and allows for quicker muscle repair and faster recovery. Stretching should include running through range of motion of your entire body movements. Massage after exercise can help prevent muscle pain and tightness, as well as help break up the knots in fascia and minimize joint aches and pains.
It is important to hydrate. Vigorous exercise, added to working out in our warm Florida climate, leads to sweat, which leads to dehydration. Muscle cramps, fatigue, mood swings are all caused by not taking in enough water while working out. Dry mouth, lightheadedness, irregular heartbeat, muscle cramps and dark urine are all signs of dehydration. According to experts, and average man should drink at least 13 cups of liquid per day, more during hot and humid weather and when exercising.
Another common mistake is limiting our activity to only cardio exercise. We all know cardiovascular activities assist in reducing blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Cardio burns extra calories and keeps the body fat levels down. However, limiting to only cardio without strength training can prevent you from achieving your optimal health goals. Strength training increases your metabolism so that more calories are burned throughout the day, while strenuous cardio burns fat and muscle. So we need to strength train to avoid muscle loss.
Even for some of our patients that are regular, disciplined exercise enthusiasts, it is important not to push too hard. It is healthier to avoid extreme duration and intensity on a regular basis. Studies have shown that running at a moderate pace can lower the risk of death from any cause when compared to no running. However, increasing speed has been shown to be of no additional benefit. Over time, chronic high level training can cause dilation and stretching of heart chambers, as well as damage to your joints.
There are perhaps more ways that we can harm our bodies, when we feel we are doing the right thing. Consult your physician before beginning an exercise regimen. Remember that consistency is key, then you will be well on your way to enjoying long term health benefits of a regular exercise routine.
- Vleck V, Millet GP, Alves FB. The impact of triathlon training and racing on athletes' general health. Sports Med. 2014 Dec;44(12):1659-92. PubMed PMID: 25292108