Health And Fitness Issues That Concern Active Individuals

Share Button

By Aileen Pablo

girljogStaying active can prevent a whole host of illnesses, from diabetes and obesity to high blood pressure, heart disease and even depression. As our society increasingly focuses on body image and being more health conscious, working out has become a priority for many people, and things like fitness vacations and boot camps are no longer seen as novelties.

But although staying active is undoubtedly the way to live a longer and healthier life, it does not mean that there are no challenges involved.

Athletes and fitness fanatics face a number of issues that can hamper their productivity and prevent them from getting the most out of their workouts. Here are some of the most common problems, as well as tips on how to avoid them.

Fitness plateau

Whether you’re new to fitness or have been training since you could walk, hitting a fitness plateau is always a danger. A fitness plateau can occur when your body adapts to the workouts you are doing and the diet you are following; it becomes comfortable with your routine and is no longer challenged by it.

At this point, you will burn fewer calories, your metabolism will decrease and you will stop noticing progress. This can be frustrating, especially when you are working toward a specific goal. Luckily, however, there are plenty of ways to work around your body’s ability to adapt and push past your plateau.

Include strength training

Strength training is important in any workout routine, and contrary to what you may have heard, lifting weights or doing strength exercises like pull ups or push ups will not give you a body builder’s physique. Strength training will boost your metabolism, strengthen the bones and ultimately enable your body to burn calories more efficiently.

Change it up

Keep your workouts as varied as possible. If you started out running on the treadmill, you will probably see some progress at first but then stop progressing after a couple of weeks. In order to avoid this, you have to regularly change the types of exercises you do, the number of reps and the muscle groups you work out.

Increase the intensity

If your body has become comfortable with what you are doing, then it’s time to turn up the heat and make it harder. Increase the intensity of your workouts every week or two by increasing the speed, adding extra weight or increasing the number of reps.

Knee pain

girlstretchActive individuals often suffer from knee pain as a result of the impact their knees receive; this is also known as “runner’s knee.” Prevention is always better than cure, so before you start any workout routine, it is important to make sure you have the correct footwear and are doing your exercises correctly.

Other preventative measures include wearing knee support straps, not running with ankle weights, and taking rest days to prevent injury.

Nutritional imbalance

Active individuals have somewhat different dietary needs than people who don’t do much physical activity throughout the day. Not getting enough protein, carbohydrates, fat, minerals and vitamins to support your active lifestyle can lead to a nutritional imbalance, and cause health problems down the line.

Sleep disorders

Many athletes struggle with sleep disorders due to the fact that their stress hormone, cortisol, is higher than that of non-athletes. If you are an extremely active individual, you may find that your sleep patterns are disturbed, which can prevent you from performing well during the day.

To prevent this, avoid work out in the evening or right before your bedtime, as your body needs a while to come down from the high of exercising. If you often suffer from leg cramps during the night it may be a sign that you need more calcium in your diet.

– Aileen Pablo is a health and fitness blogger. Aside from blogging about food and nutrition, Aileen is also fond of writing topics about education, business, and interior design.