In the midst of October baseball excitement, a new record was set for the longest World Series game to date. In game three of the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers series, players on both teams played a grueling 18 innings, or in other words, a game that lasted over seven hours. Both teams scheduled to play game four the next day. One can only imagine that this would test the body, mind and spirit of even the best athletes. And for all of us there's an important message to glean. It's important to remember that over-exercising can be harmful to our bodies, and that rest is a part of the process.
Although an active lifestyle is important to your whole health, it is possible to exercise too much. In most cases, overexertion will lead to pain and possible injury. However, if it's caught early enough the outcome is usually a full recovery. To find out more we talked to one of our physical therapy specialists, Sheila Klausner, PT, DPT, OCS, COMT, CSCS.
Listen to Your Body
"Whenever you're changing up your workout regimen in any significant way, you should always check with your health care provider first," says Klausner. "You can't go from being a couch potato to training like an Olympic athlete overnight or there'll be consequences. People who didn't work out before joining the military and then have to go through boot camp, for example, can have serious consequences."
"It's important to listen to your body and to know when enough is enough. The, 'no pain, no gain,' mentality can be dangerous if taken too far. You have to listen to your body and know the difference between simple muscle fatigue which is good for your muscles and pain which is an indicator of something being very wrong," advises Klausner. "Pushing through the pain, as they say, only means to the point of muscle fatigue. Anything beyond that can cause serious injury. And if you do feel an abnormal level of pain you should consult your health care provider immediately."
Day of Rest
"Another thing to remember is that you need a day of rest. Your muscles need time to recover and rebuild after strenuous exercise and it's important that you let them have it," says Klausner. "If you're just starting out on a workout regimen or are a beginner, you should take a rest day every third day. Workout two days in a row and then give your body a day to rest and rebuild. People that have been doing a vigorous workout regimen for longer should still take at least one or two days a week to recover. But the important thing is to listen to your body if it needs that day of rest and to take it."
For our dedicated athletes and weekend warriors: If you're currently in a heavy rotation of back to back games, matches or tournaments, be sure to properly refuel and stretch between activities.
Consult a Professional
If you or a loved one may have pushed an exercise too hard and you're concerned about pulled muscles, aches or strains, consult a health care professional immediately or call 911 for immediate care.
If you're interested in learning more about proper exercise regimens, our medical fitness program is a great resource for athletes at all levels. Please visit Florida Hospital Sports Medicine and Rehab or call 407-303-8080 to schedule an appointment with one of our trained professionals.