Exercise is an essential part of daily life. Human beings are designed to move and mobilize. It is a fact of life that people would rather skip exercise, citing the most mundane reasons. However, there are times when exercise will do more harm than good. It is important to know these conditions so we can maximize the benefits of working out. Listen to what your body is telling you. Should you let your body take a day off from exercise or will a workout do you good? Let's find out.
You have a fever or a persistent cough. A fever is a sign that your body is fighting an infection. Whether it is a low or high grade fever, you should not exercise during this time. Exercising would increase an already elevated body temperature and may lead to heatstroke. When you have a fever, working out would be added stress on your body. And since body fluids decrease when you have a fever, you are also prone to dehydration. A persistent cough, whether accompanied by fever or not, may indicate respiratory infection.
You have nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Any one of these conditions would indicate that you should refrain from exercising. Vomiting and diarrhea may lead to dehydration and you need to conserve your bodily fluids. Exercising increases body temperature and further depletes your body fluids. Exercise should be avoided until symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea disappear and you are completely rehydrated. You can avoid exercise related dehydration by drinking water before, during and after a workout. Avoid drinks that contain caffeine and alcohol two hours prior to exercise because of their diuretic effect.
Your old injury bothers you, you have a backache or you felt a persistent, sharp pain the last time you worked out. These conditions may need rest and a doctor's advice. It is expected that you may feel some muscle soreness a day or two after you work out but it is never ok to feel sharp pain. This is not a good sign and you have to see a doctor to rule out an injury. Remember that pain is one of the body's warning signals that all is not well. If you have a backache, you can take it easy for a few days and observe what movements trigger that pain. Avoid these movements for a few days but if symptoms persist you have to see a doctor.
These are just some of the conditions that should keep you from exercising. There are numerous others that are equally serious, or more so. As I said, you have to listen to your body and listen well to what it tells you. We may be able to save ourselves a lot of grief. When you give your body the proper rest, you're allowing it to come back stronger than before.
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