Exercising is necessary to keep us healthy and prepared for all daily challenges. Still more physical activities do not always mean a healthier life. Sometimes pushing yourself too hard can lead to injuries. In fact, in 2012 more than 450 000 people are admitted to emergency room due to injuries caused by working out, in USA alone. A study performed on mice found that endurance exercises can negatively affect heart rhythm and even cause long-term damage. Knowing that, it is strange that we are always mentioning the bottom border for exercising and never even bother to discuss is there an upper border, too. Let us right that wrong here.
The Recommended Dose
American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate workout and 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. When you think about it, it is a quite simple goal to achieve – 30 minutes of day, 5 days a week. If that is too difficult for you, you can divide that time into several 10 – 15 minutes sessions, and still get similar benefits. The physical activities you are engaging in do not even have to be complicated or too difficult. For moderate activities you can choose swimming and brisk walking, while for the vigorous ones you can opt for dancing or jogging. Take at least two days a week for strength exercises (there are no time limitations, workout as long as you feel comfortable). A report published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggested that moderate jogging at a steady pace for about two hours is actually more beneficial than strenuous jogging.To figure out what exactly is your upper limit, you can do the “talk test” (as long as you can carry on a conversation while exercising, you are in favorable intensity range).
Do Not Push Yourself Too Far
The mentioned “talk test” will show you when you are pushing yourself too hard. Namely, once your speech starts to slow down or break, you should slow down the pace a bit. Also, you have to be sure that you are doing your workouts properly in order to avoid any possible injuries. The best way to do it is to consult professionals, at least at the beginning, until you form some sort of routine and knowledge. If you experience an injury during the workout, do not try to work through the pain. Instead, take a break and rest. If you feel severe pain, numbness, swelling or joint instability you will need immediate emergency care.
How to Exercise?
There is no one answer to this question. Each person has different capabilities and potentials and it should build its exercise routine and choose its preferred form of physical activity based on them. Creating an exercise plan is the most secure way to reach your goals, but you should not take that chore lightly. Consulting a fitness trainer who will know how to assess your needs and potential and create a plan based on those facts, would be a wise choice. Regardless of your individual workout plan and the type of physical activity you are engaging in, stretching is a mandatory activity before the very exercising takes place. That will help you warm up, avoid pain and potential injuries. Also, you should rest between vigorous aerobic activities in order to allow your body recover and regain its strength. Overtraining can only leave you exhausted and unprepared for the next round. Mix different intensities during workout and focus on various parts of the body.
The truth is that benefits of exercising will always indubitably outweigh its risks. Still, if you know the risks and how to avoid them, is there any point taking them then? Do what is within your power to make your workout safe and efficient.