Being as physically active as possible protects your health. The benefits of physical activity far outweigh any potential risk, but it is not always a good idea. So, the advice is to just listen to your body.
Here are 10 signs that you should stop exercising and take it easy for the foreseeable future.
1) Abrupt dizziness, an irregular heartbeat or unusual shortness of breath.
You're not getting enough blood to your brain, to your heart, or to your body muscle tissues and they could indicate a potentially serious cardiovascular problem, such as heart attack.
If you experience any of these symptoms, stop exercising and seek medical help immediately in a hospital emergency department. Your doctor will perform tests to diagnose whether your symptoms are caused by a serious medical condition or are benign.
2) You “feel the burn."
This means that lactic acid, which is produced when the body breaks down carbohydrates to use for energy, is making your muscles acidic. Even though this is necessary to increase muscle strength and endurance, it is recommended that as soon as you feel the burning sensation, you begin exercising at a very low intensity until the burn disappears and then gradually increase the intensity again. Repeat this process throughout your workout.
3) Pain or tenderness that doesn’t go away.
If you feel even the slightest pain or tenderness in a specific spot while exercising, stop for the day to protect yourself from getting an overuse injury to a bone, tendon or ligament. Don’t resume exercising until the pain or tenderness is completely gone.
4) Chills, headache, severe muscle burning or blurred vision.
These symtpoms mean that you could be having a heat stroke — a potentially fatal condition. Your body temperature could be so high that you will need to be cooled right away to prevent brain damage so stop exercising immediately.
5) Sore, stiff muscles the day after a workout session.
Also known as delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), this typically occurs eight to 24 hours after intense exercise that puts too much force on your muscles.
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If this happens, exercise at an easy level for as many days as it takes the soreness to disappear, then resume your harder workouts.
6) An elevated heart rate upon awakening.
One way to check your fitness level is to take your resting heart rate, which is the number of times your heart beats per minute while you're at rest. Generally, it should be under 75 beats per minute. As your fitness and cardio levels improve, this rate will gradually drop, which is a sign that your heart and muscles are working more efficiently.
7) Starting too quickly
Ironically, people who are out-of-shape benefit the most from exercise but they are also at higher risk for sudden heart problems while exercising. This is why it’s important to warm-up, pace yourself and not do too much too soon.
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Building up to more strenuous exercise also helps familiarize you with how your heart rate, sweat, fatigue level and body heat changes. It's important for people to keep the normal response in their minds so they know what's abnormal.
8) Swelling or pain in joints.
Sometimes it’s OK to power through minor muscle pain, but joint pain is a different matter. Any kind of swelling is an indication that you have caused acute damage to the soft tissue or joint.
Sometimes joint pain isn’t immediately accompanied by swelling, and that’s when you have to be more careful. If you ignore severe joint pain, you risk serious nerve damage that may require surgery.
If you begin to notice that your tendons are abnormally painful and your muscles tire out easily during workout, take a break and get a check-up.