The beginning of every year sees a huge spike in gym enrollments. It’s another thing that many drop out just days after enrolling because the resolution seems a little too tough to keep, but there are many who do persevere. So, are you one of those people who belong to the latter category?
Before saying anything else, we would like to congratulate you on being determined, and for sticking to your guns and choosing the healthy way of life. You’re amazing! But now that you have chosen to be a regular at the gym, it is also important that you know the various side effects that a visit to the gym can have on your body. Don’t worry, we are not saying that working out has actual side effects, like a medicine or drug. All we are saying is that you may face some issues (for the lack of a better word) that are unique to gym goers and we just want you to be aware of them and know how to deal with them. And no, your lazy friends cannot use these as an excuse for why they dropped off and didn’t stick on like you did. Their only excuse is that they are lazy!
However, if you have a medical condition, always make sure that you do your daily workouts under expert supervision. In fact, any medical condition should be reported to the trainer (if you have already joined a gym) or discussed with your doctor (before you join the gym) in order to understand what kind of workouts will suit you the most. It is best to keep them informed for your own health and safety’s sake.
That being said, here’s the list of side effects that you may face!
1. Twitching Of Muscles Post A Rigorous Gym Session
This is not as unusual as you may think and almost everyone who has worked out after a long time goes through this. Even indulging in physically challenging activities like walking a long distance without prior exercise or playing basketball after a long time can cause this. This is usually because of a lack of enough fluids in your body and muscles, and can be avoided by ensuring that you drink enough water or other fluids while working out.
2. Feeling Of Increased Itchiness
This isn’t as common as the other side effects mentioned, but isn’t harmful or unavoidable either. This happens mainly due to the fact that our nerve endings become extremely sensitive when we work out. Basically, our heart pumps more blood when we are active, there by causing our blood vessels to expand, which happened to be connected to our nerve endings. This usually passes with time, and as your body gets used to the physical activity that you are now subjecting it to, it will soon stop happening altogether.
3. Giddiness And Disorientation
When your body suddenly gets too much blood, there is a change in the blood pressure and this may lead to a feeling of dizziness (1). The best way to avoid this is to make sure you warm up before getting totally into the work out.
4. Sudden Appearance Of Bruises
This is usually caused by weak blood vessels. Sometimes, even injuries may cause this or – believe it or not – even a bad diet. The best way to work around this is to make sure you do not strain your body too much and consult with a doctor who can advise you on the same.
5. Sudden Pain In The Side Of The Body, Next To The Ribcage
Also known as ETAP (exercise-related transient abdominal pain), this happens when a person starts running without warming up first (2). Since the internal organs start pumping a lot of blood into the muscles suddenly, it happens without warning, which causes this pain to flare up. Make sure you always warm up before any exercise to avoid this. And if it does happen to you, just slow down your breathing, press the painful area while breathing in, then release it while breathing out. This helps in making the blood flow regular again.
6. Urine That Is Darker Than Usual
This happens due to dehydration and the breakdown of muscles due to a heavy workout (3). To avoid this, drink water during workout sessions and if the problem persists, go to your doctor.
7. Sore Muscles A Day Or Two After Working Out
Also known as DOMS (‘delayed onset of muscle soreness’), this is caused by micro-injuries to one’s muscles while working out. Also, the products that are formed by metabolism get deposited in the muscles, leading to pain and soreness. To avoid this or make it go away, drink lots of water to flush the toxins, and if possible, go for a massage as well.
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