Do You Over Exercise?
Exercise is typically thought of as a good thing, but did you know that there is such a thing as too much exercise? In our society over exercising is not only culturally acceptable, but typically praised and encouraged. Of course there are several benefits of exercising including stress relief and benefits to your cardiovascular system, but even so, the recommended amount to provide the body with these benefits is 30-45mins 3x/wk of moderate activity. Over the years I have heard just about every amount of exercise that people believe they SHOULD be doing, but its just not that simple. Exercise is not black and white (shock) and exercise is not a one-size-fits-all mentality.
Exercise recommendations change according to a person's health, body weight, and emotional state. What is a healthy amount for one person can be a very unhealthy amount for a different individual. If you are concerned about your exercise regime speak to a Registered Dietitian. Exercise is one of the best physical activities you can do to increase your health, but there is such a thing as too much. By exercising too much, you can disrupt the chemical balance in your body, which can cause certain health problems and stress on the immune system.
Effects of Over Exercising
- Increased cortisol and pro-inflammatory chemicals, which can cause tissue damage and promote premature aging.
- Free radical release, which is linked to cellular mutations and cancer
- Muscular atrophy
- Skeletal injuries - bone fracture, arthritis, damage to cartilage and ligaments
- Heart Problems
How to Know If You Are Over Exercising...
The way you view physical activity is just as important as what activity you are doing, how long, and how often. Exercise should be something that you ACTUALLY enjoy doing and not something you have to force yourself to do. Red flags of over exercising are the following...
- Increased anxiety if you are not able to work out
- Viewing the activity as something you have to do not something you enjoy
- Using physical activity to compensate for something you ate that day or plan on eating
- Exercising to the point of exhaustion - not allowing yourself to rest or listen to your body when it is telling you to stop
- Interferes with your relationships
- Affects your mood
- Only feeling good when its over because its over
- Disconnecting from your body during the physical activity
- Feeling guilty if you cannot exercise
Incorporating Healthy Exercise
Think about some activities that you feel joy during whether that is swimming, playing tennis, going to yoga, walking in the park, or going to a boxing class. What activities make you feel alive in your body? You will not get the added bonus of stress relief if you hate what you are doing. Including family and friends can also make physical activity and exercise more enjoyable.
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