Have you ever ran the Grand Teton Relay? If you have, you know it's an absolute blast. How could you not like exercise, competition and teamwork in such a picturesque setting like the Tetons? The annual Grand Teton Relay is set for next week—and we can't wait!

Yet, super fun and awesome events such as these can become not so fun and not so awesome rather fast — specifically when your health is involved. It's important to watch for warning signs that it's time to stop running. And even though your team is counting on you, the last thing they want is for you to injure yourself.

As the official Gold Sponsor of the Grand Teton Relay, the experts at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center have listed some important signals that you should stop running:

  • Debilitating pain — If an injury or pain hurts so badly you can't walk, stop running and seek medical attention immediately.
  • Pain in the joints — A little lactic acid in the muscles can be expected — and perhaps even a welcome sign of hard work. But if you continue to experience prolonged joint pain or during or after exercise, seek expert orthopedic care.
  • Ankle sprain — Sometimes adrenaline can help an athlete complete the task at hand despite severe strain. Yet, continuing to run after an ankle sprain or similar sports injury can cause additional damage. Until you can get home and begin addressing the problem, make sure your first step is to stop taking steps.
  • Numbness — Numbness or a tingling part of your body could be a sign of nerve compression, and that's nothing to mess around with it.
  • Dizziness — Extreme dizziness can mean a lot of things, heat exhaustion and dehydration being the most common. Dizziness or feeling incredibly faint is reason to take some time and regroup.

While these symptoms are important cues that it's time to stop, you know your body best. If you have a heart condition, be aware of it. If you have asthma, know how it affects you. If you are diabetic, know what that means when it comes to endurance activities. Your health — both short and long term — is too important to let devotion to your Grand Teton Relay team stand in the way. After all, it is better to have run — and to have sought an active lifestyle — than to have never run at all.