Exercising Too Hard. Rhabdomyolysis

Intensity is in. Soul Cycle, Cross Fit, P90X, and HIIT workouts.  Benefits of high intensity workouts health and fitness benefits such as, increased calorie burn, decreasing body fat, boosting  metabolism, increased human growth hormone, and helps to build aerobic fitness.

But there is also a risk in working out too hard. If a high intensity workout produces extremely sore and swollen muscles, joint stiffness, nausea and changes in color of urine, it could be a condition called rhabdomyolysis.  Rhabdomyolysis literally means “breakdown of muscle” and harmful proteins are released into the bloodstream and is damaging to the kidneys. Hospitalization is usually required to flush out the proteins causing the condition.

Another potential symptom of rhabdomyolysis is compartment syndrome, which is when muscles swell and are unable to expand. In some cases, surgery is needed to release pressure from the muscle.

Even people who are fit can get this condition if they start a new activity too quickly.  Someone can be a strong experienced runner, but if they decide to jump into a spin class and hit it too hard, they can be at risk. 

Intensity produces some great benefits, but it is really important to approach it gradually.