When Exercise is Too Much

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

While Exercise Supports a Healthy Body, There are Times When it Should be Limited or Avoided for Health Reasons

Activity burns calories. Running, walking, swimming, sitting, standing all of these activities burn energy (energy = calories).

Even when your body is at rest it's burning calories through 'inner activity'.

It takes energy to breathe, for lung compression, for your heart to beat, for your kidneys to filter, your heart to pump and so forth.

In fact, these 'inner activities' of the body require so much energy that it would be difficult for an individual to match that amount via physical activity.

Situations Where Activity Risks Health

As vital and important as activity and exercise are to the body there are times when doing such can place the body at risk for health issues, at times severe or life-threatening issues.

Here are situations where activity levels should be discussed with a healthcare giver, doctor or nurse before pursuing. Exercising amid these conditions may lead to serious consequences, including loss of life.

Pregnancy and after the delivery of the baby.

While exercising provides a foundation of healthy benefits, there are times amid pregnancy where the mother's and baby's life may be in jeopardy amid aggressive activity - and when bed rest can serve to keep both safe from harm.

Avoid or Limit Exercise During Illness, Following Surgery or Amid High-Stress Situations

Individuals who are currently experiencing a mild illness such as the common cold should allow their body to rest before hitting exercise at 100%. When recovery is being felt, activity should be curbed to a walk before aggressive activity or sports are added back into the daily or weekly routine.

Following surgery of any sort, all activity should be approved by the attending doctor or surgeon. This includes dental surgery, and both minor and major surgical procedures.

The risk of broken stitches, sense of balance and other potential risks aren't worth any benefits rendered by activity that hasn't been pre-approved by the doctor.

Because alcohol and certain medications, including over the counter medications can effect the reactions of the body, exercise should be foregone until the individual feels steady and confident in pursuing activity. Because alcoholic beverages are dehydrating in nature, exercising after consumption - particularly in hot weather may result in a visit to the ER.

In addition, certain health conditions which impact balance should be discussed with the patient's doctor. Because balance is off-balance, risks of falling or injury are at a higher risk for these individuals.

Stress, particularly deep levels of stress that individuals may experience such as after the death of a loved one or even a serious relationship break-up places the individual at a higher risk for accidents. Therefore, they should exercise caution when exercising.

Health Risks of Exercising in Hot, Humid & Cold Weather

Exercise should be avoided outdoors amid extreme heat and cold days - as well as on foggy days.

A heat stroke isn't worth any health benefits that might have been received during an outdoor run in 110 degree temperatures. In addition, the largest organ of the body is the skin; exposure to extreme heat or cold places the skin at risk for certain health risks such as frostbite, sunburn and skin cancer.

Exercise should also be avoided when there isn't any liquids available for hydration purposes. Wait to exercise until those can be secured.

Avoid exercising at dusk and thereafter, particularly alone in parks and secluded areas. You don't want to become a victim in exchange for a walk in the park.


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