Don't ignore serious exercise side effects

By admin
08 February 2015

You'll be used to aches and pains if you're a fitness fanatic, but what if you mistake something more serious for just a normal side effect of exercise?

Along with feeling proud of yourself after a workout, there's a host of other sensations which arise; not all of them pleasant.

Shape.com spoke to orthopaedic surgeon Susan Joy, M.D., to get a better idea of which signs you need to turn to a doctor for help with.

A big result of being active is a flushed face - nothing says putting your back into a workout better than bright red cheeks! Susan assures people that this shouldn't be a worry, as many people see themselves glow as part of a 'whole body heat stress'. As you build up your fitness levels and strength you may notice the redness fades faster.

However, other side effects like hives or rashes aren't normal so a visit to a dermatologist would be recommended in this instance - it could be an allergy (yes, there is an allergy to exercise called anaphylaxis!).

Sweating is another icky side effect of exercise, and luckily you're not alone in dripping after hitting the gym or going for a jog. Different people sweat different amounts, and like the flushing, the more accustomed you become the less your body will shed.

Though be aware that an excess amount of sweat may not be down to the workout and could in fact be a side effect of medication; look into your prescription if this is the case. Antidepressants are most common with this problem.

Exercise can leave you feeling slightly dizzy and lightheaded afterwards so you need to make sure to drink plenty of water throughout.

“After running long distances, it’s important to walk at the finish line and not stop abruptly,” Susan explains.

When you stop suddenly the blood rushes to your brain, giving you a hazy sensation. If it's severe it could be a sign of more serious health problems, such as cardiac disease. See how long the dizziness lasts for before getting too concerned.

A more serious side effect of exercise is your urine turning noticeably darker, and this shouldn't be ignored. Alongside muscle aches it might point towards a condition called rhabdomyolysis, leading to kidney failure and more severely, death.

"It could be a sign that your body is breaking down muscle because you’re exercising too intensely,” Susan added.

Waste no time with this one and get to the doctors or hospital ASAP.

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