Hyderabad: The frenzy to be fit can cost one dearly as 21-year-old Swaroop Mittapalli, assistant film director, discovered. A ruptured heart and a heart transplant operation were the results.
While extreme cases of heart tear are rare, what sports medicine specialists are seeing more of is severe fatigue, cramps, muscle spasms and stress fractures in the bones of leg, foot and pelvis and excoriating pain.
The body is tuned in a certain way for years together and any sudden change is resisted and expressed in different ways. These signals are often missed. Fatigue, cramps, pain in the knees, hips or not able to walk properly can be the side-effects of unaccustomed exercise.
These symptoms are usually seen by doctors post-New Year and is called the ‘January First Syndrome’ as there is a frenzy to be fit overnight.
Dr Deepthi Nandan Reddy, senior consultant orthopaedic surgeon, explains that “the combination of sudden increase in activity and opting for a strict diet are lethal as it affects the body badly. The increase has to be gradual, allowing the body the time to adapt. A gradual build-up of activity is recommended along with balanced nutrition to cope with stress that the body undergoes while exercising. It is very important to keep the body hydrated as any exercise causes loss of sodium and water through sweating. Those who do not drink minimal water during exercise suffer from loss of electrolytes causing muscle cramps.”
Experts state that they are seeing people on a regular basis with side-effects of exercise. Dr N. Somasekhar Reddy, senior consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Apollo Hospitals, says, “A good exercise limit is for a person to get a little breathless and to stop there. In due course that limit will increase as the endurance capacity improves. It is important to understand that exercise is naturally addictive after a certain level as the production of endorphins in our body increases. Respecting the body by allowing all systems to go back to their resting state is very important. Hence the cool down session of stretching is very important to avoid exercise related aches, pains and injuries.”
Monitoring devices must be used for basic information like pulse rate, distance covered and calories burned....