When Is It Time to Take a Break From Your Workout?

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Listen to your body — it’s trying to tell you something. 

I was slaying the treadmill (ok, I was having a nice jog) the other day when I noticed that my lungs seemed to be working harder than normal. I wasn’t exactly gasping for breath — I just could not seem to get enough oxygen. “Hmmm, that’s weird,” I thought as I quickly slowed my roll, “and I am only four minutes in.”

It made me ask myself, am I paying enough attention to my body? Sure, my muscles get sore and sometimes my knees are swollen, but that’s just how it goes, right? No pain, no gain, as they say. Wrong! While some muscle soreness is healthy, and we may lose our breath as intensity heightens, we need to always listen to our bodies as they may be trying to communicate that we need a break. Read on to learn six surefire ways your body is telling you to take a rest.

It’s hard to walk. If you are experiencing pain in your foot or leg and it becomes too difficult to put weight on it, it’s time to take a break. Foot and shin pain may likely be due to poor running form or improper footwear and running surface.

Severe pain. If you experience any shooting pain, stop immediately. Soreness is good, as it is a healthy sign of building muscle, but if an area becomes hard or painful to stretch, you may have over-trained.

You have a fever or fatigue is extreme. Extreme tiredness is a red flag, and if you are sick or running a fever, exercise will put too much stress on your body. You need to rest. Go lie down in bed.

Joint pain and swelling. Be aware of joint pain in your knees, hips, shoulders and ankles. Swelling or pain may mean that damage has been done to the joint or the soft tissue. For pain relief or to decrease swelling, ice the affected area for twenty minutes.

Abnormal shortness of breath. If you cannot catch your breath while working out, then a rest is needed until normal breathing is reached again. Don’t worry, you tough cookie, it’s okay to slow down until your breathing normalizes.

Long-standing lingering pain. If you continue to be in pain or are sore in the same area for a prolonged amount of time, a rest is suggested. As is a trip to the doctor.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may want to seek professional help. 

How You Glow, pictured above.

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