When Gain Becomes a Pain
If you've decided that you're going to exercise more this year, then you could be setting yourself up for injury if you overtrain or start exercising at a higher level than you should. A workout injury can happen to anyone, not just beginners. And it can sideline your diet and fitness efforts - sometimes longer than you're willing to wait in order to heal properly. Novice exercisers, especially those who are overweight, are prone to knee and ankle injuries specifically. Prevent many of these injuries by easing into a workout routine if you're out of shape, or rely on the guidance of a personal trainer or gym staff member. All exercisers should warm up before working out and should stop immediately when in pain. But how do you know if what you're feeling after a workout is pain related to an injury or simply muscle soreness? Pay attention to how the muscle feels during your next workout. If it feels better after 10-15 minutes, then it's muscle soreness. If the pain gets worse or makes movement unbearable, then you've probably injured the muscle. Heal the injury by using the RICE method: rest, ice, compression and elevation. If it doesn't feel significantly better within a few days, then you may need to seek medical attention. While the injury heals, don't give up workouts altogether. The body has more than 530 muscles, so if you pull a calf muscle, for example, you have many other muscles to work as you heal. An injury offers the opportunity to learn new exercises for the unaffected parts of your body, which can go a long way in keeping your healthy regimen on track.