Exploring 3 Common Fitness Habits
AFC Fitness took a look at several common fitness habits to see which ones are okay and which ones are not okay.
Skipping gym workouts if your muscles are sore.
Muscle soreness happening within a couple of days after a strength workout is a sign of delayed onset muscle soreness, which can also happen if you’ve tried a new exercise or worked out more intensely. It’s totally normal, and there’s no need to skip your workout entirely as in no need to stop working out until the soreness is gone.
While you have the soreness, you may want to simply choose lighter cardio workouts that increase blood flow or practice gentle stretching of the sore muscles.
You also may want to avoid irritating the aching muscles with the same exercises, as it could cause muscles to remain sore for a longer period of time. A word of caution: if you’re in pain, not just sore, don’t power through. As always, consult your doctor for sound advice that is specific to you and your body’s own limits.
Working out through pain.
Ruling: not okay
Muscle aches are one thing, but a sharp or constant pain that worsens over time may be a sign of something more serious. If you continue to push through pain it can worsen over time and be harder to heal.
Listen to your body and your doctor. Most people can tell if something doesn’t feel right while working out, but if you are unsure consult a doctor.
Skipping the cool down part of your gym workout.
When you barely have time to work out at the gym, cooling down for another 5 to 10 minutes seems like time better spent doing something else. In most cases failure to cool shouldn’t hurt you. However, cooling down for a few minutes allows the heart rate and blood pressure to gradually return to normal and may also keep lactic acid from building up in the fatigued muscles.
And while a cool down session isn’t crucial, if flexibility is a goal, you may want to take at least a few minutes at the end of your workout to lightly stretch after a gradual cool down period.