To Exercise or Not to Exercise?


Ever feel like you don’t know when to exercise or when not to? Somebody said you need to exercise to strengthen the back and someone else tells you to stop irritating your back pain. Confused?

Lack of regular exercise/sedentary lifestyle can increase joint and bone degeneration and increase the risk of developing other conditions related to kidneys, lungs, heart and circulation. Exercise is also important in the recovery of injuries to help the healing and regain full function. This much is all true. However, too much exercise has been shown to increase the risk of heart attack and heart rhythm problems. Studies have also shown that in athletes there is a higher prevalence and greater degree of spinal disc degeneration compared to normal population.

So should you be playing badminton with a shoulder ache? Should you be swimming with the lower back pain?

The answer is correct exercise, correct amount, at the correct time.

Take for example a sprained ankle. Acute (recent) ankle sprain require rest and treatment to control the swelling and pain, therefore no exercise should be performed as any exertion and pressure will irritate the wound and slow the healing. Once the pain is manageable swelling is under control, light exercise such as walking for short distances will help the healing and the correct formation of new tissues. As your ankle heal and become stronger, targeted exercise can be utilised to regain full function and prevent injury and picking up compensatory bad habits.

Every injury/condition has different timeline and requires different exercise and approach to achieve full recovery. Similarly, different lifestyle and posture will require different focus when it comes to exercise and training. Consult your doctor!!


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