You might want to consider refraining from pushing yourself too hard after reading this

By Klyde Manansala | Photo by Cristian Brandon/Unsplash

Exercise on a regular basis maintains good health—from boosting endurance to improving cardiovascular function. While it could help ward off diseases, there are also serious conditions attached to it, particularly for people who tend to push themselves beyond what’s needed.

Recently, Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago took to social media to open up about her chronic kidney disease (CKD) that she believed she got from continuous heavy exercises and consumption of pre-workout supplements. By the time she consulted a doctor, Santiago discovered there was something “potentially more dangerous” than her migraines.

If you’re not paying attention to how hard you’re working out, then you might end up doing more harm than good to your muscles. We’ve tackled the rare and serious medical condition called rhabdomyolysis before but let’s take another look at the consequences of overdoing your exercises.

The Link Between Vigorous Exercise and Kidney Disease

Rhabdomyolysis, or rhabdo for short, is the breakdown of muscle that releases myoglobin and creatine kinase into the bloodstream. This causes kidney complications and prevents the organs to properly function such as cleansing toxins from the blood and regulating the water fluid levels.

“If you’re not paying attention to how hard you’re working out, then you might end up doing more harm than good to your muscles

There are many root causes of rhabdo, including obesity and traumatic experiences like a car accident, an electric shock, and drug abuses, but xxcessive exercise could also lead to this rare condition.

Longer hours of exercising also mean more calories are burned. But if you don’t consume enough nutrients to supplement the burned calories, your body will find it hard to perform basic functions accordingly, which will increase the chances of kidney failure due to nutrient deficiency.

Is Rhabdomyolysis Avoidable?

The first step to preventing your body from suffering this medical emergency is to not overdo it. This condition usually goes unnoticed. Little do you know, you might already be on the brink of experiencing extreme muscle pain, spasms, and stiffening.

“Not only will exercise help you increase your energy levels, it will also lower risks of heart attack—the number one cause of death among people with CKD

During the course of your workout, it’s very important to take breaks and keep yourself hydrated regularly but not to the extent that will make it hard for your kidneys to flush out excess fluids. So avoiding rhabdo is simple: Listen to your body, stop when necessary.

Can You Still Exercise Even with Kidney Disease?

However rhabdo is a rare condition so don’t think that any pain or discomfort is automatically associated with it. But it’s always best to reach out to your doctor if you have serious concerns or feel anything out of the ordinary.

A regular exercise program created by an expert can surely improve your capabilities to engage in physical activities. Simple tasks such as doing household chores and walking already deliver a science-proven boost to make you stronger and more in control of your health. Not only will exercise help you increase your energy levels, it will also lower risks of heart attack—the number one cause of death among people with CKD.

Once you get to know how hard you can still push yourself, the only thing left to do is to start. If you have CKD, chances are, you’ll feel tired most of the time. So start doing small things like stretching. You don’t have to rush yourself, exercise at your own pace for a good 15 to 20 minutes for at least three days a week. As you go along, gradually develop and maintain your routine.

So, take it easy on your next workout. After all, we have our own limits.

For additional reading on rhabdomyolysis, click here.