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With obesity being one of the top health risks facing Americans today, the campaign for staying fit has never been more important. Getting active and exercising has a myriad of benefits but there are times when it can be overwhelming for your body. An important aspect of staying healthy is being able to understand the positives and negatives of exercise and becoming aware of your limits.
Sprains, strains, or stress fractures are the most common form of injury and will typically heal with rest. Continuing to exercise may exacerbate the problem, prolonging the injury. Try looking for a different exercise activity that avoids the injured part and allows it to rest and heal. Be aware of any signs of more serious injury that may require medical attention. Experiencing any problems moving a body part the way you usually do, trouble bearing weight on muscles or limbs, or tingling and numbness may signal a larger problem.
Exercise can also be too much of a good thing. People who exercise too much might not only be suffering from emotional difficulties, such as with compulsive or purge-related exercising, but can cause overuse damage to the joints, muscles, and organs. There is the saying “pain is weakness leaving the body” but there is a difference between making your muscles work harder than usual and experiencing potentially dangerous muscle spasms, weakness and dizziness.
Additionally, exercise can have negative consequences if you are sick. Doctors often recommend that you may exercise if your symptoms are above the neck (i.e., a head cold) but that you rest if the symptoms are in your chest or stomach. Exercising with a fever can increase your body temperature further. Overall, it is a good idea to listen to your body. If you are experiencing pain or illness that makes exercise uncomfortable, take a break and seek a medical opinion. Generally, it is suggested to wait 1-2 weeks after sickness to get back to your workout regime.
About Dr. Scott Gottlieb:
Dr. Scott Gottlieb is a pain management expert and the founder of Gramercy Pain Management. He is the director of Pain Management at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary (NYEE) and has treated over 3,000 patients. Dr. Gottlieb is board certified in both pain management and anesthesiology. He has offices in both Manhattan and Montebello, N.Y. in Rockland County.