Exercise Caution

Sometimes we feel like exercise is going to kill us, but did you know that some say it actually can? With all the new, hardcore workouts out there, doctors say there really can be too much of a good thing. 7’s Diana Diaz shows us why you should exercise caution.

WSVN — Beatriz Maderal is young and in good health, so when the 19-year-old college student started exercising for the first time, she thought she could handle a hardcore workout.

Beatriz Maderal: “I would jump on the treadmill and run for about an hour. Then I did squats, then I would lay down and do my ab workouts.”

After a few days of doing intense exercise, she felt a strange soreness that would not go away.

Beatriz Maderal: “I did have pain in my leg area, around my thighs. I had back pains. My urine was abnormally dark, and that’s what scared me.”

Beatriz ended up being hospitalized and diagnosed with something she had never heard of: rhabdomyolysis.

Dr. Pedro Hernandez: “It’s the equivalent of skeletal muscle death. They are working out harder than their muscles will tolerate and they start to have breakdown of their muscles.”

That breakdown leads to the release of muscle fiber contents into the blood, and these substances can be dangerous to your kidneys and your life.

Dr. Pedro Hernandez: “This could kill you, or actually put you on dialysis.”

Palmetto General Hospital nephrologist Pedro Hernandez says, with the growing popularity of extreme workouts, he’s seen an increase in patients with rhabdomyolysis.

Dr. Pedro Hernandez: “In the last couple of years, I probably have seen 10 people associated with this. That is a lot for a condition that is not common at all.”

Hernandez says the symptoms can often be vague, but you should get to the hospital immediately if you start experiencing these symptoms after working out.

Dr. Pedro Hernandez: “Severe muscle pain, especially in the shoulders and the thighs, with extreme nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and sometimes actually with seizures.”

Thankfully for Beatriz, doctors were able to treat her with IV fluids, and she didn’t have any long-term damage to her kidneys. The teenager plans to slowly begin exercising again.

Beatriz Maderal: “I am very aware of what I do now, and I try not to push myself. It’s not worth it in the end.”

Doctors say you should always get a fitness test before starting any exercise program and drink plenty of fluids before, during and after strenuous exercise.

Diana Diaz, 7News.

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