Top 5 Workout Red Flags You Should Not Ignore

workout red flagsSore and burning muscles, labored breathing, and profuse sweating are signs of a good workout. However, there are several signs that suggest your body manifests during the exercise or workout that you should be aware of in order for you to work out at the appropriate level and provide your body enough challenge without the risk of getting an injury.

While the proper workout is very beneficial to your health, overdoing it could be extremely dangerous. There are some trainers that would push their students to push their body until they puke, experts say it is not recommended. In fact, there are several cases of exercise-inflicted ER or rhabdomyolysis. This is very rare but also very lethal that could lead to side effects that could endanger your life.

ER, is usually caused by an abrupt transition to a greater exercise load or unusual exercise load says IDEA Health and Fitness Association. Symptoms could include weakness, muscle pain, fever, tenderness, and vomiting. While it does sound cliché, it is always important that you listen to your body. Here are five red flags that you should pay close attention whenever you are working out.

1. Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramps can vary for every individual but it is often an indication of dehydration, intensity overload, or heat stroke. It is important that you are conscious of the degree and the duration of the cramp to determine the best method to deal with it. Is your cramp something that prevents you from moving or is it minor that you can still move?

Does your cramp lingers for a few minutes or does it last all through the entire session? A cramp that would not go away easily, subdue after a long cooling off time, or stays despite strict observance of proper hydration must not be ignored. This is most likely your muscles’ way of crying out because you are making it do too much or move too fast.

2. Side Stitches

There is a certain degree of soreness that suggests that your workout is effective. Miniscule tears happen when muscles are triggered during exercise. Those microscopic tears are soon repaired and rebuilt to develop more muscle mass that could cause soreness. Fit2Go Director Dani Singer, a CPT, said that post-workout soreness usually lasts between 24 hours and 72 hours.

Most often, after the first workout session, soreness hits hard after 48 hours. While dull aches are normal, sharp pains are an indication that something is not right. A sharp pain in the hamstrings or knees right after a lounge or a squat could be an indication that there is an injury. It could also be one of the five symptoms you might have a leaky gut.

Muscles normally lock up including biceps that would not flex or a leg that would not straighten. When this occurs, trainers recommend staying hydrated, massaging the area using a foam roller, and resting. This could be due to pushing the muscles too hard for the level of your fitness, which could eventually lead to inflammation and swelling.

There is also a form of muscle cramps that usually occurs while running and sometimes during cardio exercises. These could be prevented and reduced with the right warm up, proper posture, and ideal electrolyte balancing ante and post workout. Side stitches usually subside as the level of your physical fitness builds.

So while you may feel the excruciating pain, the better part of it is that you are probably going to experience less of the pain as your level of stamina and endurance increases. But, if the side stitches continue and reach up to your left shoulder, be very wary because it could be a sign of a cardiac arrest.

3. Unsteady Muscles

Wobbly or unsteady muscles are very common, especially if you are performing a series of tough workouts.

If the tremor is mild that you can still finish your routines in good form, it could be an indication that you have achieved the level of fatigue that could improve your endurance and strength. But, if your muscles are badly shaking that you could no longer control your movements or maintain the right alignment while doing your routines, then it is time to take a rest until the shaking subsides.

If you are, on the other hand, shaking at the beginning of the session or even if you do not exert much effort, there could be some factors that cause it. This includes dehydration and low blood sugar levels.

4. Lightheadedness or Dizziness

These symptoms could be due to several causes. This includes a low level of blood sugar, heat stroke, or dehydration. It could also be caused by standing up too hastily or an abrupt change of body positions while performing certain routines like lifting weights.

If you experience dizziness or lightheadedness, you should not shrug it off especially when the occurrence is very frequent. If you are healthy and well dehydrated and could not explain the cause of dizziness or if the feeling of lightheadedness does not easily subside, it is best to see a doctor.

The body begins to collect energy from the free fatty acids or from glycogen in the liver. This could cause low blood sugar that could eventually lead to weakness, nausea or lightheadedness. This should not be a cause of concern. But, if you are diabetic, you should immediately see your doctor. Naturally, the body will replenish the collected glycogen.

5. Vomiting or Nausea

There are some individuals that feel nauseated when they workout with an empty stomach. Several others feel nauseous when they exercise too soon after a meal. If you think you upset stomach is not caused by what you eat or what you did not eat, it could your body’s way of telling you to lower the intensity.

About Shannon Clark

Shannon holds a degree in Exercise Science and is a certified personal trainer and fitness writer with over 10 years of industry experience.

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