What Would an Orthopedist Think of Your Workout Routine?

March 27th, 2018 Becki Andrus

Examining Your Workout From A Orthopedics Point Of View

Exercising is good for you, right? Of course, it is! The benefits of exercising are immense, especially if you don’t lead an active lifestyle. It can help you to lose weight, lower your LDL levels, and generally stay healthy. Exercising isn’t always good, though. There are several things that can go wrong in exercising, which can lead to injury, both in the long term and the short term. If you are exercising incorrectly, you may be having an overall negative impact on your health. Luckily, being aware of this can keep you out of pain for most of your life.

Can Exercising Be Bad for You?

Exercising can absolutely be bad for you when it is bad exercising. For example, you may see some difficulty if you aren’t properly stretching before and after workouts. As we discussed recently in “The Importance of Stretching,” you should stretch in a different way before you workout and after. Before you workout, you want to perform dynamic stretches, such as arm circles, that get your muscles moving. After you workout, you should switch to more static stretches, such as most yoga poses, that keep them still. Dynamic stretches get your muscles ready for intense, repetitive motion, while static stretches help your muscles to loosen up again at the end of the workout. Without stretching, you are putting yourself at an increased risk for strains, sprains, and other injuries. Because your muscles are tight when you begin a workout, the intense motion of working out can lead to issues. Refusing to stretch afterward will have a similar effect, leading to increased soreness, both in length and depth.

You can also exercise too much. The Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that people who worked out moderately are, in some ways, much better of than those who worked out for more than 7.5 hours a week. People who worked out for more than 7.5 hours a week were 27% more likely to develop CAC, with white men being the most at risk: they have an 86% likelihood to develop CAC. The people at the top of exercise volume were also at an uncharacteristically high risk to develop CAC, at 40% over 25 years. CAC, or coronary artery calcium, is an indicator of coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is the name for a group of diseases which includes stable angina, unstable angina, myocardial infarction, and sudden cardiac death. Too much exercise can lead to a calcium buildup in your arteries, causing blockages that will have a detrimental effect on the heart. Unfortunately, too little exercise can lead to the same thing, as it can cause weakening of the arteries. As any orthopedist will tell you, there is a correct amount of exercise: roughly 2.5 hours a week, though it will vary from person to person.

Similarly, too much running can cause issues. Researchers have found that too much running is just as risky as no running at all. Staying on the couch will lower your blood pressure and raise blood sugar levels, and cause strain on the heart. Too much running will greatly increase your blood pressure and lower your blood sugar levels, which can send mixed signals to the heart. Again, there is a golden amount of running that should be performed each week. The guidelines here are a little more nuanced, so you should consult a doctor to help with your routine.

You can also lose too much weight. There is a healthy amount of weight to lose, which is roughly 1 pound a week. Any more weight loss than this can lead to major issues, including diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain. The guidelines here are, again, varied. The actual amount of weight you can healthily lose is actually a percentage of your body weight, which a doctor will be able to calculate.

Why Is Form Important?

One of the biggest causes of injury when working out is poor form. Form, of course, is the proper way to perform an exercise to work out the muscles correctly, as well as prevent injury. Form is most important in strength training, though there is a correct form for every workout. Even running should be done properly to prevent ankle sprain. Form help with proper breathing, as well. Without proper form, your breathing may be thrown off, which can lead to less force being applied, and long-term health problems. Most importantly, though, proper form prevents muscles misalignment. Without proper form, muscles may slip, tendons may get pulled, and sprains occur.

When your form is improper, good exercising quickly becomes bad exercising — and that’ll put you in the doctor’s office.

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