Don’t Do These 3 Things While Exercising

By on June 30, 2015

We all know that exercise has its benefits.

It makes us strong, aids in weight loss and enables the body to move and perform with ease and proper function to help us with our day to day tasks.

But did you know there were things many people do on a regular basis that cause their exercise program to become dangerous?

Probably not.

Exercise safety isn’t a popular topic – even though it needs to be.

So in an effort to direct you toward a safe and structured health and fitness program, I’m going to discuss a few behaviors that you’ll definitely want to avoid.

Don’t Do These 3 Things While Exercising

1 – Chewing Gum

This is probably one of the most dangerous things you can do during your workout.

I discussed the topic further in this article on Sparkpeople.com (which I encourage you to read)…but to give those of you reading these words right here and right now access to this lifesaving information, I’ll go over what you need to know.

I had to attend personal training school in order to learn about the consequences of chewing gum while exercising.

To be honest, I had never given it any thought – and I’m thinking that many of you haven’t either…especially since we see professional athletes do this on national television, seemingly without incident.

But in truth, people who do this place themselves in a position to choke on their gum; and believe it or not, several people have encountered this set of circumstances…and the results were deadly.

When we exercise, we breathe faster and harder. The likelihood of whatever is in your mouth getting lodged in your throat is much higher than normal; and when it comes to gum – with its flexible texture enabling it to “mold” itself to fit perfectly in your airways – the chances of it staying in place even when lifesaving techniques are used to expel it out are increased.

I am aware that many of you chew gum while exercising because it helps to alleviate the discomfort that accompanies a dry mouth. I will recommend that you try using a hydrating mouth spray, or take small sips of cucumber water instead.

This is one truth to pay attention to. It’ll definitely serve you well to give it some thought – as the possible consequences far outweigh the benefits.

2 – Exercing Through Pain

While it’s known that exercise is meant to be challenging in order to bring about the results you’re looking for, it really is wise to listen to the messages your body is giving you – and respect this.

If at any time, you feel the discomfort of a strain, cramp or pull – it’s a good idea to immediately stop what you are doing and give it a rest.

Trying to work through these types of pain can and often do result in injury.

While it’s perfectly fine to feel a certain level of discomfort as your muscles work to lift a weight in an effort to produce additional strength and size – it shouldn’t feel alarming.

But if at any time, your inner-voice tells you that something doesn’t feel right, this is not a time to intellectualize your way out of that warning.

If you ever feel the pain or “ouch” of a muscle, joint, tendon or bone – stop.

The best thing that’ll happen is you’ll give your workout another shot some other time.

The worst thing that can happen would be you ending up with a stress fracture, pulled muscle or worse because you tried to be a hero and ignored the obvious warning signs your body gave you.

3 – Forgoing Rest Periods

I’ll admit there was a time when I thought that in regard to exercise, more was better.

However, since then, I have learned differently and I now understand the benefits of incorporating a sense of balance to a health and fitness program.

Balance, whether speaking in terms of physical activity, or activity of the mind is the combination of both work and rest.

Forgoing the rest and recovery part in your exercise program is actually eliminating a necessary element of the process, not only for building strength and stamina, but to help prevent fatigue and a loss of motivation.

The body needs rest in order for the work you have done to take shape and form. Exercise is a form of stress. When you place such stress on your bones, joints and muscles, they need time to recuperate.

Now if you’re doing light activities every day of the week and you are otherwise generally active, then this may not apply to you as much because you aren’t operating to any extremes.

If, however, you’re working out with a medium to high level of intensity most days of the week, which is what’s required in order to experience physiological changes in the body to take place, then this does apply to you because if you’re going to participate in anything that involves a higher level of stress, effort and focus, whether physical or otherwise, rest is necessary to allow the work you have done to work its magic.

I actually like the way it’s explained in this article posted on Acefitness.org since it expands on the topic a little further and also discusses the benefits of stillness as a way to reach a state of peace and well-being.

Exercise Should Be a Healthy Activity That Provides a Lifetime of Wellness and Optimal Health

If implemented wisely, you’ll experience the many benefits of a safe and structured health and fitness program. However, as with many things in life, there is always a chance for something to go awry, even with the best of intentions.

Take heed of the suggestions above and you’ll find yourself in a position to avoid some unnecessary headaches and unwanted injuries.

Are you guilty of any of the above behavior? If so, do you think you’ll make some changes now that some of these things have been brought to your attention?

Image credit goes to goodhousekeeping.com

About Dana Gore

Author of the book A Simple Guide to Exercise Safety (What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You), Dana Gore completed the curriculum at Fitness Institute International, Inc. as an outstanding graduate in 2009.

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