With Spring Carnival drawing to a close and the loss of two horses after the Melbourne cup, I thought it a timely reminder that sometimes we push ourselves harder than what is healthy. The death of Melbourne Cup race favourite, Admire Rakti, a seemingly fit, healthy horse with no sign of illness, in particular, came as a big shock. Unfortunately it doesn’t only happen in the horse world. So many times we hear of people (healthy fit people) pushing themselves too hard, all too often to their detriment.
How far is too far?
Pushing your limits during exercise is obviously something we all do. And if you are not pushing then you will never increase in your strength, fitness and endurance. BUT there is a very fine line between pushing your limits and pushing yourself too hard. One thing I always tell my clients is that there is a good pain, and a bad pain. If you experience good pain (muscle fatigue etc.) during a session, keep going. As soon as you experience a bad pain (muscle strain etc.) you stop immediately!
Some warning signs to look out for while exercising (Stop immediately if you experience any of the following):
· Chest Pain: While not all chest pain is linked to a heart attack, it is prudent to note that all chest pains should be taken seriously.
· Shortness of Breath: Naturally there is some degree of shortness of breath during exercise, but if it becomes hard to breathe, stop immediately and seek medical attention.
· Joint & Muscle Pain: Sharp or severe pain could signal an injury. Stop immediately to avoid further injury.
In conclusion I note that whilst it is important to exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle, it is also important to listen to your body. Like racehorses, we are not invincible, and failure to act upon warning signs, could result in collapse.