We all know the benefits of exercising and how it can be good for our bodies and our minds all around. But what we are not told, is the danger of pushing exercising too far and to listen to your body before it is too late. What are the signs you need to check for in regards to making sure you have a healthy and safe workout? There are a number of factors that you can keep in mind such as heart rate, dizziness, and your breathing patterns that are simple body clues telling you about your overall health. The new fitness watches are all the rage right now from Garmin, to Fit bit, to Tom Tom, you have many choices when it comes to tracking your fitness. This has been a great learning tool for many people because there were a lot of people out there completely oblivious to what heart rate monitors were, or even how they tracked the beats. Tracking your heart rate during a workout can be a lifesaver in many forms.
How To Check Your Average Beats Per Minute, and Understand Your Maximums
A normal resting heart rate for adults can range anywhere from 60 beats to 100 beats per minute. A lower resting heart rate indicates that the heart is pumping blood more efficiently through the body, and that their cardiovascular fitness is high. Sometimes younger folks who tend to workout daily will see their resting heart rate in the high 40’s to low 50’s. To find your accurate resting heart rate, always test before you get out of bed in the morning. If you have a smart fitness watch you can easily look at this (if you wear it to bed) or if you don’t have one you can check it manually by placing two fingers on your wrist and find your pulse. Once your pulse is found, count how many beats are completed for 15 seconds, and then multiply by four to get your beats per minute.
Why Is This Important?
When you are aware of your resting heart rate, you will then be able to calculate your maximum heart rate when you are working out. If you stress out your heart too much while you are working out you then put yourself at a high risk for a heart attack or accident that may lead you to the emergency room. The equation to check your maximum heart rate is typically 220 minus your age. While this is ballpark range, many people can withstand a little more than this calculation.
By knowing this equation, you are able to get your workouts in and know what will push you (to burn fat) and get you breathing, and what is going to be overkill. This is essentially important for those of you who are trying to get back into the swing of your fitness routines again.
If you notice your heart rate jumping from a 140 to a 180 be cautious, and notice your breathing patterns and your orientation. The heart usually loves exercise if it is done the right way. Always consult your doctor before jumping into any rigorous activity that you are not used to right away. The doctor can clear you for any underlying heart issues you may have not known about. Always consult with your doctor if you have diabetes, smoke, or have high cholesterol, as these are all triggers for heart problems later on in life.
Dangers To Be Aware Of
I do not write this section to scare anyone off, or make you feel like exercise is bad (because it is truly not when it is done right!), but there are some signs and symptoms you should watch out for when exercising:
- Sharp Chest Pain: If you feel chest pressure along with dizziness and nausea always stop what you are doing immediately. Sometimes seconds will make the difference if you are truly having a heart attack. Seek medical help.
- Shortness of Breath: While many people have a hard time deciphering this one, if you are feeling like you are unable to breathe take notice. This is generally a feeling of your breath leaving you for simple activities such as walking.
- Spells of Dizziness: We have all been dizzy now and again when we get going a little too hard, and have not hydrated enough. Be cautious about this if you are profusely sweating, and you feel like you are going to black out. Sit down immediately and seek medical attention.
To wrap up, it may be music to your ears to hear that sometimes less is really more regarding exercise. On average, a person does not need over 45 minutes of exercise per day. Elite athletes who are training for a marathon or triathlon have been seen by many as the epitome of in-shape people, but many times this type of strenuous (and long) levels of activity can do a number on your heart. We have all read the sad stories about elite athletes suddenly dropping dead during a race, and it is 9 times out of 10 linked to a cardiovascular event. This happens because lengthened periods of stress placed on your heart during long distance running can cause inflammation and actually damage the tissue in your heart.
Always know your personal limits, and do not be afraid to simply stop to catch your breath if you are feeling funny during a workout. As mentioned before, if you are new to fitness always consult your doctor before eagerly signing up for fitness classes, as you don’t want to do any long term damage that could have been avoided.