Regular exercise is a cornerstone of good health. It's encouraged by almost anyone in the health care industry. It seems as if every website or magazine is promoting different forms of exercise, or new and improved routines to try.
There is little wonder why, as over 60 percent of women in the United States are overweight and over 30 percent are obese.(2)
There are times, however, when exercise is NOT recommended, as it might do more harm than good. Before starting any exercise program or if you suspect something is wrong, and that regular physical activity could be dangerous, please consult with your health care professional for a thorough checkup.
1) You are sick.
It is generally accepted that if someone has a cold, the flu, a fever, an upper respiratory infection or pneumonia, they should absolutely not work out.
The goal should be to rest and heal instead of exerting and sweating — from something other than a fever! — in the gym or on a run. Diverting that energy away from healing could worsen the situation and make recovery time much longer.
Nobody gains anything by working out when ill.
2) You just had a concussion.
Whether it is from a car accident, sports-related injury, or just being extremely clumsy, concussions should be taken seriously. A concussion is a jar to the head that has essentially rattled the brain.
There is some research to show that aerobic exercise does help with post-concussive healing, however this is only done under the supervision of a qualified health care provider who understands the case.(1]
3) You recently had major surgery.
Gallbladder removal, abdominal surgery, hysterectomy, C-section, breast implants and hip replacement are just a few examples of serious surgeries that require a certain period of “down time” to recover.
Many people will still try to work out other areas of the body not affected by the surgery only to end up with popped stitches, pulled muscles, infection, and a lot of pain.
Go easy and follow your health care provider’s instructions. Some surgeries require a 6-week wait before you can ease back into a program and others even longer. Why risk damaging the work that was just done?
There are some examples where exercise has caveats attached to it such as pregnancy or heart disease.
Many pregnant women maintain a regular work-out plan throughout most of their pregnancy without issue, but find near the end that they have to wind down or stop all together.
The same goes for those with heart disease or a pacemaker. As long as you are under the direct supervision of your health care provider and follow instructions, you may be able to exercise without complication.
Reviewed June 10, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
1) Goldbaum, E. (2013). Aerobic exercise promotes post-concussion healing, UB researchers find. Retrieved on June 9, 2016.
2) Office on Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human Services. (2012). Overweight, Obesity and Weight Loss Fact Sheet. Retrieved on June 9, 2016.