Been hitting the gym too hard after the lockdown? Take it easy, warn trainers

Been hitting the gym too hard after the lockdown? Take it easy, warn trainers

After months of being homebound and gaining all that extra body weight, when gyms in the city finally opened its door again, it’s quite obvious that people are in a hurry to get back in shape. But health experts are urging people to exercise caution before getting into rigorous workouts at gyms or fitness clubs. And they have a reason to say so.
Take this recent incident, for instance: Eighteen-year-old fitness enthusiast Lakshay Bindra was in such a hurry to lose those extra kilos he had put on during the lockdown that he decided to go for rigorous exercise the day he hit the gym after months. Result: The same evening, he started experiencing extreme muscle fatigue, followed by body stiffness, pain and vomiting. Things worsened and he had to be admitted to the ICU, as he suffered from acute abdomen pain, dark urine and weak kidney and liver functioning. It took him some time to recover – after sessions of dialysis and physiotherapy, to be precise.

Rigorous exercising may damage your kidneys

According to Dr Abbas Ali Khatai – attending consultant, emergency medicine, at a city hospital – extreme physical activity can lead to muscle breakdown, which is also a common cause of rhabdomyolysis. “Every individual’s body is different, and it reacts differently to various workout routines. It is important to understand the limitations of one’s own body while opting for rigorous exercises. Sudden, aggressive physical activity may lead to accumulation of acid in the muscles, which, in turn, could lead to breakdown of muscle protein. This protein then enters the bloodstream, finding its way into the kidneys, which, in extreme cases, may lead to kidney failure,” he warns

Be it weightlifting, yoga, cardio or crossfit, a person must stay hydrated and get proper professional guidance when exercising, advises Dr Abbas.

Continue following COVID-19 preventive measures

Stressing on the necessity to follow all precautionary measures while going back to the gym in the unlock phase, Dr Mehta Y – consultant physician, department of preventive medicine and health check, at a city hospital – adds, “Even now, it is equally important to maintain social distancing, wear masks and frequently wash/sanitise your hands. One can continue wearing a mask while doing light exercises, but when following a strenuous regimen, avoid wearing a mask, as it can obstruct the air entering your lungs, leading to complications. If you feel breathless while working out, remove the mask and take rest for a while. Also, stay hydrated by drinking lots of water,” says Dr Mehta.

Ease into the workout post months of inactivity: Trainers

  • Eager to lose all the weight that they have gained over the past months, people tend to go overboard with their workouts
  • Losing weight is a lifestyle change. It does not happen ‘fast’
  • People need to start off by undermining their workout capacity, body
  • limitations. They need to work out at a much lower intensity compared to the pre-break routine

— Rishabh Telang, fitness expert

While at the gym, be careful of the fitness regime you follow

  • Start with light exercises; don’t jump into strenuous workouts right away
  • Allow your body acclimate to the routine slowly
  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • Wear a mask at the gym, only while doing light exercises


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