Many people believe that the only way to exercise is to run, lift weights or do some other form of physical activity that makes you sweat profusely. In truth, there are many ways to exercise, and not all of them look like the workouts you see on Instagram.
However, it’s important to be aware of what activities are and aren’t good for you physically.
Here are a few red flags to watch out for so you can stay healthy while exercising.
- You’re in pain. Soreness is normal after a workout (at least for most people). But if you find yourself taking pain medication or unable to walk or otherwise function normally after an activity, you may have pushed yourself too hard.
- Every person has their own limits, but if you feel like your activity level is causing more harm than good, it’s best to cut back and try something else.
- You’re getting injured often. It’s one thing to get hurt during a workout because of a mistake or accident — but if you keep injuring yourself on purpose, that’s a red flag that something needs to change. If your fitness routine includes any behaviors that could be considered self-destructive — punching walls or throwing your body against the ground, for example — try switching things up
- You’re gaining weight even though you’re eating right and working out regularly. Your body needs sufficient fuel to recover from exercise, so if you don’t eat enough after a workout, your body will try to hold onto calories in advance of the next workout — and that can lead to weight gain.
- You’re not sleeping well. Sleep is crucial for recovery. If you have trouble falling asleep, or you wake up frequently during the night, it may be a sign that your body isn’t recovering properly between workouts.