Total Access Medical - Direct Primary Care Blog

7 Signs You Should Stop Exercising Now

Posted by Total Access Medical on Feb 09, 2021

Screen Shot 2021-02-09 at 4.33.56 PMBeing 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 7 signs that you should stop exercising and take it easy for the foreseeable future. 

1) You Feel Chest Pain, Pressure, Discomfort

This is probably the most severe warning sign of them all. 

While a heart attack is somewhat rare during exercise, it is possible to occur to someone who has an underlying heart disease. The problem with this is most people are unaware of any issues until these warning signs appear.

Experiencing these symptoms during a workout session is the sign to stop immediately and seek medical attention. After a little research, women are more likely to have other symptoms.

Some symptoms include:

  • Discomfort in the back, jaw, or throat
  • Nausea
  • Coughing
  • Headache

Don't play off these symptoms, as they are a warning sign that something fatal may happen.

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.

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) 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.


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