Before You Go Insane

Before You Go InsaneSo you want to be fitter, stronger, have more energy. You look at others with “hot-looking”  bodies and you would  like one of those. You want to live longer, healthier, happier.

So you decide to try INSANITY. No! Not the one that is treated at Clare Vue Hospital. Rather, the workout system that promises you the most insane body in just sixty days.
Of course in today's world we love fast results. And quite frankly, what is wrong with that ?
But like everything else in life, “too much too soon” as it pertains to exercise may cause much more harm than good.

So before you go insane there may be a few things you would like to consider.

INSANITY advertises itself as mind-blowing and probably the hardest fitness programme ever put on DVD. You are expected to burn 1000 calories in an hour. It also has a nutritional component designed for you to build muscle fast.

Is that so bad? Maybe not; but is it right for you? Only you can answer that. But before you go insane, learn the facts.

If you play a sport at the professional level it is expected that you are going to exercise much more than the average person. Usain Bolt does not prepare to run a 100 metre race in just over nine and half seconds by doing a leisurely walk around Sabina Park four days per week. He has to follow a very intense training regime.

But I am sure you would have noticed that professional athletes generally have relatively short careers at the top level of their sports. The vast majority retire before age 40, and more than a few have operations to repair knees, backs and shoulders.

By contrast you and I are expected to work until age 60 ( or 65 if the economists get their way). And we do not have a multi-million dollar sport's  franchise to pay for a knee surgery.

The truth is while an extreme exercise programme can make you very strong, fit and fast in the short term, it may eventually be detrimental to your health. Your shoulders, arms, knees, back, hip, legs, heart and kidneys may have to pay a heavier price than you can afford.

Extreme exercise programmes like (but not only) INSANITY can lead to severe strain and damage to your muscles.Your heart being a muscle is no exception. The damage done to your heart in a few sessions of extreme sustained workout can be permanent.

This may lead to stiffening of the walls of the heart and severe arrhythmias incompatible with a long, healthy life. In some cases sudden death due to cardiac arrest may be the end result. You do not have to look hard to find examples of  “superfit” young athletes who have collapsed and even died in training or while playing their sport.

I refer you to an article in the dailymail.co.uk by Jenny Hope, “Excess Exercise Hurts the Heart and Causes Dangerous Long-Term Harm, Say Scientists.” Even the United States Military is restructuring its training programme to reduce and prevent the many injuries that occur as a result of excessive and extreme training. The Few and Proud are getting less extreme.

The list of frequent injuries from extreme exercises is long -- rotator cuff damage of the shoulders, stress fractures of legs, ligament and meniscus damage of knees, herniated discs and nerve compression of neck and back, bone degeneration and joint dislocation, just to name a few.

And do not for one moment forget the damage to your kidneys. One hour of extreme exercise, the type that causes you to burn 1000 calories, can lead to rhadomyolysis. This is occurs when damaged muscle tissue breaks down rapidly,and releases excess proteins into your bloodstream. Some of these proteins are harmful to the kidneys and lead to kidney failure.

If rhadomyolysis is complicated by acute kidney failure the mortality rate may be as high as 20 percent. This condition can be hastened when one is not adequately hydrated during an extreme workout and can be further complicated by the high protein diet encouraged by these programmes.

Be careful with extreme, even if it is of something that is nominally good. Like the old folks would say, “Too much a wan ting good for noting.”

So, should you exercise? By all means. But find a safe, efficient, and healthy way of doing so.

Before you start, know your purpose for exercising and the state of your health. This will determine the intensity level practical for you.

Warm up effectively, both mentally and physically. Get calm, breathe deeply, and stretch your muscles thoroughly before you go full steam ahead. Notice how birds flap their wings before they go into full flight.

Hydrate adequately. To prevent muscle damage, rhabdomyolysis, and overheating, drink adequate amounts of water and real fruit juices. Gatorade and Lucozade are not necessary.

Move naturally. Learn about your muscles and use them the way nature intended. Overdoing leads to injuries. Bench pressing the extra 50 pounds may make the girls go wow, but you might not have enough left to get the date.

Have fun with good company. Exercise should not be a chore. Find something you really like and  people you like doing it with. Your exercise could very well be working in your backyard garden.

Remember to cool down after exercising. For full mental benefit and for physical repair of your muscles do not forget this step.

If after all you still want to go insane, please do not suffer from INSANITY, just enjoy every minute of it. You might not be able to enjoy much else.

Dr Jerry Simon (visit facebook sites NSA Medical Surgical Rehab Centre and Naturally Moving Antigua).

Hits: 4272

6 Comments In This Article   


Hey Dave

#6 microwave chef » 2012-12-03 19:02

Dave ::: the message is an age old one, what ever you do do it in moderation, do you have a problem with that?
Doc thanks for your great advice, kinda like some salt and hot sause( suzie's)
makes a dish taste great however to much and it taste like,,,,well you get my drift..

microwave chef

great article

#5 d » 2012-12-03 09:16

Thank u Dr for this interesting article. food for thought .


Doc Simom

#4 tenman » 2012-12-02 09:54

Doc thanks, for people like me who tend to overdo, thanks for the reminder of the dangers


interesting read

#3 fatty » 2012-12-02 08:33

Was just about to start my workout today then i read this article! Still loved it, good information.



#2 Jimmy » 2012-12-02 07:55

Very informative! I won't feel to guilty with doing less to stay healthier!


RE: Before You Go Insane

#1 Dave » 2012-12-02 04:10

I stop exercising..so what should i do ,i get fat its not good,i exercise alot its not good.you know what death is inevitable so i go keep doing my thing.


Add comment

Dr. Jerry Simon

Dr.Jerry Simon,a general physician, is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and Villa Clara (Cuba) Medical School. He has previously worked in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry. Presently he is Medical Director of the NSA Medical Surgical Rehab Centre and is a certified member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Follow us on Facebook

Spotlight on Education

Previous Next
Govt to give Two Uniforms
Antigua St. John's - Minister of Education Dr Jacqui Quinn-Leandro has confirmed...  Read more

Latest Opinions by Dr.Jerry Simon


Android LogoDownload Caribarena's Android App Click To Download

Find us on Twitter!