What are the risks of exercising? It's unfortunately true that while most people don't work out enough, there are risks of exercising, mostly for those who overdo it.
As physiotherapists know from their practice, the most common risk of exercising is injury to the muscles and joints. Fortunately this is mostly avoidable. Common causes include:
- Starting back after a long lay-off
- Increasing intensity (distance, difficulty etc) too quickly
- Lack of warm up or cool-down
- Poor technique
- Showing off!
There are other potential problems, although these are unlikely to present to a physiotherapist. These include:
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke: If appropriate care is not taken on hot, humid days, heat exhaustion or heat stroke can occur. Of the two, heat stroke is the more serious.
Other conditions may increase the possibility of problems including Pregnancy, diabetes, and indeed pollution - recent research has shown that pollution elevates the risks for exercising heart patients.
Overall, however, the risks of exercise are generally over-rated - it is true to state that not working out is likely to be far more of a problem in the long run than doing so regularly.
If you do have concerns, are diabetic or pregnant, or have not worked out for a long time, then it is important that you check with your doctor before beginning a workout program.