Exercising yields numerous health benefits, including helping to improve our blood circulation, keeping us in good shape and helping with stress relief. Many of us might therefore think that doing more of it can only be better. Unfortunately, that is not necessarily the case.
More isn’t always better. Interestingly, Time Magazine shared that while light to moderate runners had a lower risk of death than people who did not exercise, some runners who ran at a faster pace for more than three times a week had a similar risk of dying as non-runners. This shows that more exercise doesn’t necessarily provide more benefits than moderate exercise.
In fact, too many workout sessions or trips to the gym could actually do more harm than good. According to a case study, over-exercising might damage the heart and arteries, or even cause exercise addiction, which is an unhealthy obsession with physical fitness.
Signs of Over-Exercising
Exercising can be like your favourite dessert – easy to overindulge in. Here are five common signs that you might be exercising too much.
1. Delayed recovery time
The body requires time to recover after exercising. Muscular pain or soreness will usually go away after about three days; a longer recovery period should be taken as a sign of over-exercising.
2. Weakened immune system
A moderately active person will have a fairly strong immune system and rarely get sick. As such, if one is getting sick quite often or feeling fatigued a lot, they can be pretty sure that their body needs a break.
3. Decrease in energy
Mental or physical dizziness is a hallmark sign of overtraining. If a person is not ill, but still feeling extra fatigued, that individual is probably exercising too much.
4. Unexpected weight loss and fat gain
Over-exercise can alter the hormone regulation within the body. One of the signs is if one experiences an unexpected weight loss but notices an increase in body fat.
5. Getting emotional
Changes in mood such as depression, anger, confusion, anxiety, and irritability are common symptoms of physical and/or mental over-exhausted. This can be caused by the stress hormones released due to too much exercise.
The load of exercise that one should undertake depends on the individual’s body condition like age, health, and choice of exercise. In general, Harvard Medical School suggests that untrained sports enthusiasts have “at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise or 15 minutes of intense exercise a day”.
Excessive exercise is actually bad for the body; however, the key here is not to give up exercising completely but to exercise in the right amount depending on your individual body’s capability. Over-exercising is a real issue that can result in serious health and performance issues. Hence, keeping a close eye on the signs that you may be over-exercising is important.
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