In honor of the athletes participating in the Tour of Utah this week I thought it would be appropriate to write a little about when you should keep riding/training and when you should give it a break for a bit. Often times we keep training even though we hurt everywhere, we have plantar fasciitis, our backs are sore, and we can barely move our neck. But hey you’ve got that race coming up and you are trying to set a PR.
So how do you decide when to give it a break? It all comes down to a question about how it feels. Most of the time your body tells you when there is a problem. Though there really isn’t any right answer, here are some guidelines to help you in deciding:
- Your aches are not related to overuse in your specific sport and you are improving, it’s probably ok to continue training. Example of this would be if you moved heavy boxes a week ago and now your back hurts, but you are improving and these aches aren’t related running.
- Upon inspection of the injured area you see or feel redness, swelling, or heat. Rest is almost always indicated in this circumstance until these symptoms start to return to normal.
- If you feel worse after exercising, then rest is better. If you still are hurting before your next workout then rest is almost always mandatory. If you start hurting halfway through your exercise it’s a good idea to stop and rest.
- If the problem starts near the end of your workout then its probably ok, and there is no need to alter your workout. But keep in mind if it continues a shorter workout might be best.
Many of us become so obsessed with working out, that we will continue regardless of what our bodies are telling us. The biggest thing to remember while training is that in the long run, rest and days off are just as important as the actual training. Listen to what your aches are telling you, they are trying to save your season.
Dr. Wayne T. Hansen D.C. is a sport chiropractor practicing in Cottonwood Heights. Visit www.solutionsclinic.com for a free consultation.