Nothing has caused more injuries and set back more people’s fitness journeys than the old adage “no pain, no gain”. It makes people think that they need to push through the pain in order to reach their fitness goals. While it’s true that you have to muscle through some discomfort in order to get better, it’s not true that you should be in agony at the end of a workout. In fact, there are plenty of warning signs that your body gives you right from the start. If you know what to look for you’ll be able to stop before you cause yourself a severe injury that will take a long time to recover from. You’re too dedicated to fitness to set yourself back by getting hurt.
Excessive Soreness for Several Days
A little delayed onset muscle soreness is nothing to be concerned about. Yes, it can be unpleasant, but a mild ache or burn in muscles that you’ve been using is normal. There’s a delayed buildup of lactic acid and the breakdown of your muscles to contend with. However, you should be wary of muscle soreness that seems excessive, or that lasts for longer than it should. A normal bought of delayed onset muscle soreness shouldn’t prevent you from going about your day as normal. While it might not always be pleasant, it should never be anything that you can’t muscle through if you have to. If you find that you’re not able to do the things that you normally would, or if the pain persists for more then three or four days even though you haven’t been hitting the gym anymore, there’s cause for concern. You’ll need to apply ice packs and, if nothing else helps, go to the doctor and be sure you’re alright.
Swelling an Ice Pack Can’t Bring Down
Back to the ice packs: you should always be able to bring swelling down with a cool cloth applied to it, or an ice pack wrapped in a towel. There shouldn’t be anything going on that you aren’t able to clear up yourself with an ice pack. It’s fine if you take the ice pack off and the swelling slowly returns; that means that you injured something, but depending on other factors it might not be that bad. It’s when even an ice pack can’t make a dent in the swelling that you need medical attention.
Nausea and Headaches
If you’re ever working out and you start to get sick to your stomach, take a rest. The same thing goes for getting a sudden headache. Putting your body through stress is a complicated balancing act, and it can be really tough to deal with. If your body starts sending you strong signals, stop and listen. You might be dehydrated, which can account for both the nausea and the headaches. Your blood pressure might have spiked, which is always a good reason to calm down and let your body sort this out. You don’t want to push through the pain when the pain is a sign that you’re at your safe limit. Take a breather and come back to this when you’re stronger.
Shaking by the End
You don’t want to keep pushing yourself to the point where you’re in tremors. Despite what people have you believe, there is a physical limit to what you can do. When your muscles are shaking you’re on the verge of being tossed out; your muscles can’t take much more. When you stop when your muscles are shaking you were this close to them giving out entirely. That’s going to cause damage and extreme pain, no to mention the risks that come with handling machinery when you’re too weak to do so safely.
Active Aversion to Exercising
If you used to love to exercise and now it’s nothing but a chore, you might be pushing yourself too hard. You don’t want to just give up on something; that’s not the best way for things to go. If you used to be having a good time exercising and now you don’t, you might be pushing yourself too hard. If you keep pushing until you’re entirely burned out you’re not going to be doing yourself any favors in the long run.