Pain
Image via Bay State PT

It’s difficult to understate the benefits of working out. No matter your age or body type, exercise is one of the best ways to stay healthy and fit. Then there’s the other side of the coin: what do you do when a good work out goes wrong? Whether it’s due to not being adequately prepared or just making simple mistakes, there are a number of things that can derail your activity.

For experienced athletes, many of these solutions are probably already firmly engrained in your routines, but it’s also easy to forget small steps and precautions that can make a world of a difference. Meanwhile, for the less acclimated readers that are looking to ramp up their intensity or make good on a New Year’s Resolution, there are some tips you’ll definitely want to remember as you pursue your activity. These are The 10 Worst Side Effects of Working Out and How to Avoid Them.

Riley Jones is a freelance writer from Charlottesville, VA and a contributor to Sneaker Report. With an unshakable affinity for basketball and all things ’90s, he can be found on Twitter @rchrstphr.

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Dehydration
Image via Dr Laura Thompson

Dehydration

Problem: The constant loss of sweat through activity can pose a serious threat. It’s important to stay hydrated in the gym and on the courts, and it’s even more crucial when outdoors in extreme temperatures. Dehydration can lead to a number of other problems, so it’s best to nip it in the bud and avoid it at all costs.

Solution: Try to drink between 4-8 ounces of water or a sports drink at least every 20 minutes. Be sure to avoid sodas, energy drinks, and any alcoholic beverages, stick to plain old H20, Gatorade, or something similar. When you’re finished with the activity, drink another 20 ounces to replenish the lost fluids.

Overheating
Image via Searchamelia

Overheating

Problem: Overheating and dehydration are similar, but overheating is even more dangerous. If you’re outdoors in conditions that are between 90 and 130° F, you’re at risk for heat exhaustion and a potential heatstroke. In temperatures over 130°F, it’s just not worth it, as the risk of a heatstroke is incredibly likely.

Solution: If you find yourself in these sorts of conditions, be sure to make hydration a priority. Wear lightweight, light-colored gear, and be on the lookout for signs of a heat stroke, which includes dry, red skin without sweat. If this occurs, seek emergency help and contact 911 immediately.

Pain
Image via Bay State PT

Pain

Problem: Oftentimes after a workout, you’ll find yourself with sore, throbbing muscles that will make you want to take a day off. For less experienced athletes, it can be even worse. Luckily, there are steps you can take to make workout recovery a little less excruciating.

Solution: There are a number of post workout recovery shakes and drinks on the market, and recent research has also shown that chocolate milk can be effective as a recovery option. Also, be sure to get plenty of rest and relaxation between workouts to allow your body time to bounce back. Eat foots that are high in protein and if the pain is really bad, consider a professional massage. If all else fails, consider trying out the sauna or steam room option.

Ato Boldon Injury
Image via Lolly Legs

Injury

Problem: Post-workout pains and aches are pretty normal, but injuries can be an athlete’s worst nightmare. There’s nothing worse than a debilitating impairment that keeps you out of action, so be sure to take the necessary precautions.

Solution: First of all, make sure your sneakers are right for their job. Seek out your local running specialist and have your foot strike mapped so they can properly assess your pronation. If you’re prone to ankle injuries, be sure to invest in a pair of shoes with a higher cut that offers plenty of support. Stretch before and after workouts, and be sure not to overextend yourself by taking on more than you can handle. If you stick with these and the rest of the guidelines in this list, you’ll be doing about all you can to stay injury free.

Fatigue
Image via Men's Fitness

Fatigue

Problem: Fatigue can be caused by heat exhaustion and dehydration, but it also has a simpler, mostly unavoidable cause. The fact that you’re working out and pushing your body to the limit is enough to tire you out for the rest of the day.

Solution: To fight fatigue, start hydrating before your workout routine, preferably with a sports drink. Consider adding more high-energy foods to your diet, such as salmon, beans, oatmeal, bananas, and almonds. Be sure you’re going into your workouts with a good night’s rest, and try to find a cool, climate-controlled gym to use.

Nausea
Image via Wordpress

Nausea

Problem: When you’re grinding it out and giving it your all in the gym, fatigue isn’t the only potential negative side effect. Nausea and dizziness are quite common, and can be triggered by other factors like heat exhaustion and dehydration. Since we’ve got those covered, let’s look at some other ways to avoid that nauseous feeling.

Solution: Try not to hit the gym immediately after a big meal. Allow your food some time to digest, and also try to only drink as much water as you need. Too much of anything in your stomach while working out is a recipe for disaster. If you do feel dizzy or sick while working out, be sure to rest thoroughly before going back at it.

Cramps
Image via EHow

Cramps

Problem: From side cramps (often called a “stitch”) to general muscle cramping, this is something we’ve all dealt with at one point or another.

Solution: The best precautions for cramps are to ease into your routine. That is, don’t come out of the gate at 100%, because not only will you tire yourself out, but you’re likely to cramp up as well. Stay thoroughly hydrated, maintain a steadily increasing pace, and stretch, stretch, stretch.

Heartburn
Image via WebMD

Heartburn

Problem: Heartburn during exercise could be brought on by a number of things, including a poor diet, eating too soon before a workout, or just eating the wrong things altogether. Each person’s body will react differently to different foods, so it’s important to do a little bit of trial and error and find out what works best for you.

Solution: Try to wait at least a half hour before working out, although some people will want to wait even longer.

Dry Skin
Image via Royalty-Free/Corbis

Dry Skin

Problem: Although it’s more annoying than anything, dry skin is a common problem, especially during colder months. Not only does the constant sweat do a number on your skin, but the extra showers that come with a workout will also tend to make your skin dry.

Solution: Try using a moisturizer and taking shorter showers with cooler water to avoid this, and be sure to wipe sweat off with a clean towel regularly.

Sweat
Image via OnSugar

Excessive Sweat

Problem: Okay, there’s no way to really get around sweating. It’s natural and it comes with the territory of the gym, but there are some things you can to do combat it.

Solution: Look for athlete-specific antiperspirants with extra strength, and seek out moisture-wicking gear to keep things dry and comfortable. As for sneakers, go for options that feature breathable, ventilated mesh.

Riley Jones is a freelance writer from Charlottesville, VA and a contributor to Sneaker Report. With an unshakable affinity for basketball and all things ’90s, he can be found on Twitter @rchrstphr.

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