There’s a difference between pushing your body for maximum results and pushing it toward serious injury. There’s also a difference between taking a break from your workout midway through it and taking a complete break from exercise for a week or so.
But how do you know the difference? You have to listen to your body! Here are signs that you should stop working out completely and give your body time to rest and recover.
Shooting or Stabbing Pain
If you feel a shooting or stabbing pain that feels like a knife being pushed through your flesh, then you should immediately stop. This is particularly true when the pain radiates to other areas from its original site.
The reason: You may have a nerve injury, perhaps a nerve irritation, which can worsen with exercise. You should excuse yourself from a Fitness Connection class, if necessary, and tell your instructor the reason. Your doctor can provide an explanation for the pain but it’s best to rest first.
Getting bruises during workouts, especially those involving equipment, is typical but it shouldn’t be too much that you’re black and blue in places. But when you notice a bruise, particularly after feeling a twinge in the area, even when you didn’t bump into anything, you should stop your workout.
The reason: There may be an internal tear causing the bruising. Depending on the tear, you may think a few days off (i.e., tiny micro-tear) from your workout or check with your doctor for a definitive diagnosis.
Near-constant Feeling of Exhaustion
There’s a good kind of tired after a workout and a bad kind of tired experienced for days on end. Your near-constant feeling of exhaustion adversely affects your quality of life, and it’s a definite sign that you have pushed your body too far, too fast, too hard.
Overtraining takes its toll on your body and mind, and it’s something that requires your immediate attention. Your muscles, tendons and bones are at higher risk of injury while your mind goes from a state of happiness to a state of sadness. You burn out that you experience anxiety, stress and sadness – and these aren’t the feelings you expected with exercise.
When you have over-trained, you should rest and recover from your internal injuries and burnout. Eat well, hydrate well, and rest well are the best advice that you can follow in this case. You should be able to recover within 48 hours but if you haven’t yet, then it’s time to see your doctor.