Exercising pains

Patient

Q: I have just started walking as I want to lose 2 stone. After about 5 mins walking I get awful pains in my shins and calves. This does not wear off until I am finished. It feels like a muscular thing. Will this wear off as I walk more often and get fitter. IS this because I am not warming up or stretching. Is this totally necessary???

Doctor

A:    If you are not used to exercise regularly, and all the sudden you begin with an exercising routine, most likely you are going to experience pain in the muscles involved. So, to avoid this, it is strongly recommended, begin with a light routine, that gives you time to get used to exercising, and then increase progressively the muscle effort. You can take anti inflammatory medication the first days while you get used to the exercise’s demands. And remember to do an adequate warm-up every time you exercise to decrease the chance of muscle injuries. Every person is different and most likely the exercise routine should be customized for each case in particular. It is normal to experience pain in those muscles that are being used the most the first days, in your case shins and calves if you are walking aerobically with the objective of burn fat. There is a very well described entity in the medical literature called: Overuse Syndrome, which can affect any part of the body that is over stressed with movements or activities in a repetitive way, including occupational, recreational, and habitual activities. Repetition is part of the definition of overuse injury. The concept is that overuse injury is associated with repeated challenge without sufficient recovery time, and this is true for Body Building or any other sport or activity in which you exceed the guidelines and your own limits or capacities. So a daily healthy exercise routine besides the standard guidelines should be customized for each particular individual.

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