Last Updated on July 15, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
It’s quite common knowledge that health and fitness can lead to a better lifestyle. However, there is such a thing as a right way and a wrong way to achieve certain goals. If you’re not careful about how you proceed, you could inadvertently hurt yourself. This damage can go beyond simply pulling a muscle, though. There could be a real threat of danger if you don’t learn more about how to take care of yourself.
7 Ways Health and Fitness Can Be Dangerous
There are many ways that practicing better health can hurt you. These are just a few of the ones I’ve personally come across over the past few years. Remember, everyone is different. We all have a unique physiology, and what affects me may not affect you the same way.
1. Improper Dieting
An improper diet is probably one of the most common problems for those looking to achieve better health. From eating too little to gorging on the wrong kinds of foods, its easy to cause internal issues with your diet. For instance, I experience frequent losses in blood pressure as well as shaking when I over exert myself on an empty stomach.
Don’t believe for one second that starving yourself is also the best way to diet. Those who are overweight still need specific nutrients in order to remain healthy. While the body will burn fat stores for energy, it’s the vitamins and minerals in food that keep your organs from shutting down.
You need to find a diet that works for you. Bare in mind that food allergies may limit what you can try. What I focus on when losing weight is keeping track of the calories while including healthier alternatives for food.
2. Suffering from Various Illnesses
If you suffer from certain illnesses, health and fitness can be very hard on the body. For example, more than nine million people suffer from cachexia around the world. This is also known as the “wasting” disease. It’s a condition that causes the body to metabolize itself at a very fast rate. Fat isn’t the only thing consumed as muscle mass is broken down and you may feel extreme fatigue. The treatment for this illness is often increasing the caloric intake.
Cachexia is just one example of how an illness can affect your goals for health and fitness. Before you center yourself on losing weight or getting into better physical condition, you should make sure you don’t have an illness that will be affected by a change in diet or activity.
Although I haven’t experienced pregnancy first hand for obvious reasons, I have been a part of several. In that time, I’ve learned a great deal about the ramifications of health and fitness for someone who is with child.
Everything you consume, the unborn child will consume as well. If you reduce your food intake, you’re essentially starving for two. When you’re pregnant, there are two bodies that require nutrients through the foods you eat. Dieting is usually not a good idea when your pregnant. Consult your physician if you want to find out more.
Exercise can also be bad on an unborn fetus. Certain ways your muscles strain within your abdomen can do everything from cause you pain to damaging the placental walls. Before you commit to any exercise routine, again consult your physician. It’s possible to remain fit during pregnancy, you just need to alter your routine a bit.
4. When Recovering from an Injury
A lot of people will try to push through the pain when recovering from an injury. Physical therapy can be quite a grueling process. However, pushing too hard could actually do more harm than good. Depending on the extent of the physical damage, certain activities have potential to worsen the injury. For example, you wouldn’t want to bench press 400 pounds immediately after breaking your arm. The strain may cause the bone to break again or shift.
I have a bone in my hand that never healed correctly because I pushed myself too hard when I was younger. Now, it rests a bit curved and causes my pinky to be askew from the other fingers when holding up my hand.
I know someone who had extensive back surgery and decided to go golfing several months before the doctor said it would be safe. He said he felt good and was ready to swing a club. Guess where he is now? Yep, hobbling around his house because he has issues moving – several years later.
Water does more for you than you might realize. Not only does it help flush toxins out of the body, but it helps regulate your core temperature. This is one of the biggest reasons why many people will succumb to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. A lack of water can also lead to other complications such as muscle cramps, irregular heartbeats and even affect your mental states and moods.
In reality, you should be drinking in excess of 60 ounces of water per day. Of course, this is also dependent on what experts you follow. Some say a minimum of 64 ounces is ideal while others want you to base your intake on your weight. In either case, keeping yourself hydrated during workouts can prevent a great deal of internal damage – especially during the hotter months.
6. Lack of Stretching
A lack of stretching is one thing I am guilty of quite often. When you don’t properly work out the kinks in your muscles before working out, you may create all kinds of issues for yourself. For me, I tend to be far more sore during and afterwards when I don’t stretch.
Some experts believe that a 10 minute stretching routine every day can help keep the body limber and the muscles ready. I am partial to full-body stretches and a few other yoga postures. In either case, this helps the muscles repair damage much quicker and greatly reduces your recovery time.
7. Setting Impossible Goals
I’ve seen a lot of people set impossible goals for themselves who wind up getting hurt while trying to achieve better health and fitness. Between trying to lose weight to building muscle mass, pushing too hard can cause a wide variety of issues.
The reason why setting impossible goals is on this list is because of how people will treat them. It’s the mindset of doing what ever it takes to reach a certain weight or build muscle mass that can be dangerous. This is often because people will make bad decisions for things like supplements, foods and routines.
An impossible goal can also affect your mental state when working out or dieting. It’s easier to become discouraged when you don’t achieve those grand results you imagine. As a result, you could lose interest in the process or become depressed and frustrated with your experience.
Knowledge is Power
Knowing yourself and what you’re capable of can greatly help you achieve better health and fitness. It’s all about finding what works best for you and sticking to it. While some diet plans may be less than ideal because of your allergies, others may be perfect. Take the time to understand your body and what you can do to optimize the experience. You need to be comfortable in your plan in order for it to succeed. Otherwise, it will seem more like a mind-dumbing chore that you dread doing everyday.
Achieving better health through fitness doesn’t have to seem like a nightmare. Although it may be scary at first, the end results will be life altering in a good way. Keep yourself protected and make better choices for the body. The more you know, the better off you’ll be in the long run.