Not everyone works with a personal trainer who pushes them hard to achieve the best possible results. For those working out on their own, it may be better to ease into exercise to help prevent injury and avoid the aches and pains that often put exercising on the bench. Even trainers may recommend starting slow at first, particularly for those incredibly out of shape or who have health conditions that might be exacerbated by too much, too soon.
Listen to your body, no matter what your fitness level.
There are dangers in overdoing. One of the problems faced by anyone that wants to push their body to the limits is that they reach their limits and sometimes beyond. If you push your body beyond the point your body is prepared to handle, you can cause intense stress to the body. It’s the same stress that comes from a massive injury. The stress makes the muscle tissue rapidly break down, giving off byproducts from the cells in the process. One of those byproducts is myoglobin. If there’s too much to filter out of the blood, it can overwhelm the kidneys and lead to failure. That creates a condition called rhabdomyolysis. If no action is taken it can lead to death. Symptoms include a decreased amount of urine, muscle aches and weakness. The most easily recognized symptom is really dark, reddish colored urine.
Even if you’re taking it slow, always check with your health care professional before starting a workout program.
Going from couch potato to marathon runner doesn’t happen overnight and you shouldn’t push yourself like it does. Taking it easy at first is important. It doesn’t leave you turned off to exercise because of soreness and pain. It also doesn’t put you in danger of potential health problems. Sometimes, you have an underlying condition that isn’t diagnosed, so if you have an odd heartbeat, get leg cramps, feel dizzy, get short on breath when you normally wouldn’t or have chest pain, seek medical attention.
Don’t confuse a hard workout with overworking your body.
Sure you’re going to have aches and pains, that’s part of getting into shape, badge of honor that says you’ve worked hard. There’s a difference between a sore muscle, but goes away quickly, and unbearable pain. If you move your arm lightly and break out in a sweat from the pain, you have some real damage and need medical attention. Shortness of breath is normal with a exertion, It needs immediate medical attention if it occurs with minimal exertion or persits long after exercise ends.
- Choose something you like to do when starting an exercise program. If you like fast dancing, turn on the music and dance away, stopping when you feel it’s time. Record the number of minutes you’ve danced and try to increase that time a little each week.
- Start with walking more. Take an early morning stroll. Park further from the store and walk. Take the stairs, not the elevator.
- If you’ve been sedentary for a long time, get the help of a trainer who will help you learn the right way to do each exercise and make sure you aren’t overdoing.
- Track your progress. Winners keep score.