With everyone’s New Year’s resolutions to get fit and healthy hopefully still in place, I thought I’d give a little insight into when one should not exercise. Despite all my efforts to encourage individuals to keep active, there are times when a little rest is more important.
· Illness – currently on an anti-biotic or anything related to the chest. If you have a fever or are on an anti-biotic, this means you have an infection. Your body does not need the additional stress of exercise on top of fighting off the infection. Exercise increases both your heart rate and breathing rate, putting additional strain on the lungs, which is unnecessary and not advised if you have a chest cold or infection.
· Injury and been told by a practitioner to rest. Often with acute injuries, one is told to rest the affected limb. However, you can still train your arms if you have injured your ankle, for example. You only need to rest the injured limb.
· Overtraining – symptoms of overtraining:
o Exhausted instead of energized after exercise
o Get sick easily
o Feel down
o Unable to sleep
o Extreme tiredness
o Mood changes – short temper
o Extreme muscle fatigue and soreness
Take a break from the gym for a week or so to give your body a chance to recover.
· Recent concussion – you must have clearance from your doctor before you participate in any exercise or sporting activity following a head injury.
· Recent asthma attack – you may need to adjust your exercise routine to allow your lungs to recover from the attack.
Your immune system resistance decreases with stress, which includes the stress of exercise. Therefore, you are likely to get sicker or simply keep getting sick if you train while you are not well, as your immune resistance is already low. The bottom line is: if you don’t feel well, take it easy. Rather get completely better and then go back to training.
If you suffer from a chronic illness or injury, consult a Biokineticist to assist you in prescribing appropriate exercises to maintain your fitness and manage your condition.