Keeping fit and healthy is very important – and for some that drive for bodily fitness is also an important measure in their mental health regime. Getting out doors, releasing endorphins, focusing on the simple repetitive actions of running, swimming or lifting can all help anxious, depressive or obsessive thoughts (though not as much as medical help from a doctor, so don’t hesitate to make an appointment if you feel like you’re under stress).
For all its benefits, workout comes with some risks as well, and we’re looking at those today.
When you push your body hard, you warm up and perspire so you can cool down. You know you’ve done a good job with your workout when you’re raising a sweat, but this depletes your fluid levels, and more too! As well as water, you also lose the soluble salts your body keeps dissolved in its water fluid reserves. These are called electrolytes and they’re used for many important functions in your body, from transmitting impulses from your brain to your muscles along your nerves, to ensuring a regular heart beat, to maintaining the fluid balance in your cells – that means if you lose electrolytes, it’s harder to rehydrate effectively!
If you’re low in electrolytes and drink lots of water, then you could make the situation worse, diluting the limited electrolyte supplies you have left. This is a state known as water intoxication, and it has symptoms similar to dehydration! Make sure you rehydrate properly before, after and even during exercise with products like isotonic drinks or ORS Sport, which contain the electrolyte balance you need.
Aches and Pains
If you’re coming back to an exercise routine after break, trying something new, or getting into regular, structured exercise for the first time then you need to be aware of your limitations. You can hurt yourself with pulled muscles, stitches or even more serious and lasting injuries if you don’t warm up and prepare for the exercise you have ahead of you.
Make sure you know what you’ll be doing: research the muscle groups your run, swim or gym session is going to work, and find a warm up routine that stretches them and prepares you for the hard work ahead. Even a simple brisk walk prior to a run is safer than coming to it entirely cold.
If you can, try to work with a personal trainer, at least early on. They can help you find a routine and plan to escalate it safely as your strength and endurance grows, and teach you how to prepare to help you avoid pain and injury as work out!