Can You Work Out Too Much? How to Know If You’re Overtraining

Mar 07

Can You Work Out Too Much? How to Know If You’re Overtraining

Working out is one of the best things you can do for your health, but did you know that you can actually work out too much? If you’re not careful, you can overtrain and end up doing more harm than good. This blog post will discuss the signs of overtraining and how to know if you’re working out too much. We’ll also provide tips on correcting your workout routine if necessary. So, if you’re wondering whether or not you’re working out too much, keep reading!

  • Working Out
  • Is it Possible to Have Too Much Exercise?
  • Intense exercise: The Red Flags
  • How to Listen to Your Body
  • What you can do to combat exercise addiction

 

 

Working Out

Because exercise is so good for the body, health practitioners and sports medicine consultants frequently concentrate on convincing individuals to do enough of it in their everyday lives. The other side of the coin is less well-known: when staying motivated to exercise isn’t an issue, but understanding when to relax and rest is.

Maybe you can’t imagine going a day without experiencing the endorphin rush of a good exercise. Perhaps exercise helps you feel present in your body, and you’re concerned that if you don’t do it, you won’t be able to maintain a positive outlook and its health benefits. Alternatively, you may employ exercise to keep yourself from having to worry about what you eat.

For whatever reason, you may have too much of a good thing, so we’re here to help you figure out if your fitness routine is pushing your mind and body too far. Let’s talk about how to tell whether you’re overtraining and what you can do about it if you are.

 

Is it Possible to Have Too Much Exercise?

Yes, it is possible to overwork yourself. When we place too much emphasis on one aspect of our life, it may negatively affect the rest of our lives. However, determining how much exercise is too much is a more personal matter.

working out a lotWe know that 45-60 minutes of exercise per day is generally recommended, but even 15 minutes of exercise per day can reduce mortality risk and extend life expectancy. This doesn’t mean that you’re over-exercising, and it also doesn’t mean that you’ll reap significantly more benefits if you exercise significantly more. In fact, you may be harming yourself.

Furthermore, excessive exercise has the potential to become addictive. It may seem strange that exercise may be addictive, but exercise has a high and a schedule, or ritual, much like other addictive habits. Whether you think you’ve acquired any exercise-related addictive tendencies, let us help you figure out whether you’re just enjoying your exercises or if you’re on the verge of developing a bigger problem, like exercise addiction.

 

Intense exercise: The Red Flags

Over-exercising can manifest itself in a variety of ways. While one of the symptoms listed below may not cause alarm, if you have many symptoms, you may be exercising too much.

Prolonged muscle soreness

While aching muscles following an exercise are common, they should only occur once in a while and shouldn’t persist more than two, or at most three, days afterward.

Insomnia

Sleeplessness can indicate too much exercise, whether you’re not sleeping properly or having trouble going asleep at all. Exercise promotes sleep, primarily when you work out at an appropriate level for your body.

Agitation

working out causing strainsYou feel guilty or anxious if you do not exercise. You continue to exercise, even if you are injured or sick. Friends, family, or providers are worried about how much you exercise. You exercise even if it is no longer fun. You skip work, school, or social events so you can exercise. Compulsive exercise may be associated with eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia.

Fatigue

If you’re often weary, especially during your workouts, your body isn’t getting the recuperation tools it needs to benefit from exercise’s energy-boosting effects.

Decreased Performance

A healthy route is one in which you feel your strength and stamina improving with each workout. Overdoing it is evident when you feel like you’re going backward, whether that means plateauing or really discovering your muscles and stamina are reduced.

Changed Appetite

A successful workout should make you look forward to your next meal. If you’re overtraining, though, either you do not feel hungry at all or are always hungry.

Fat Gain

Overexercising is typically encountered in people who go from not exercising at all to trying too aggressively to get into shape, reach a healthy weight, and lose a few inches. Unfortunately, exercising excessively might lead to weight gain instead of loss.

Immunological Deficiency

Moderate exercise is beneficial to the immune system. On the other hand, over-exercising might make it difficult for your immune system to operate correctly, leading to more colds and flu.

Inflammation

Different from sore muscles, systemic inflammation might trigger more significant illnesses. As such, this is important not to let that get out of control.

Depression

Exercise is a mood booster, but too much of it can leave you constantly feeling sad or lethargic. When your hormones can’t regulate appropriately because of overtraining, your happiness chemicals can’t do their jobs, either.

Injury

If you’re getting injured from your workouts despite keeping good form and not training beyond your known capabilities, this could be why. You may experience stress fractures and muscle strains, among others, if you keep overworking yourself.

How to Listen to Your Body

Even though the red flag list above is quite basic, you may be unsure what to do if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms. An essential thing you can do in that situation is paying attention to your body. How can you figure out what your body is trying to tell you? Here are a few questions to ponder.

  • physical injuries from working outNotice what activities you’re gravitating to in your free time. Are you exhausted and just want to lay on the couch and watch TV? That could be a sign of fatigue.
  • Think about whether your eating habits have changed lately. Are you snacking constantly? Are you having a hard time even eating a meal?
  • Are you feeling strong or not? Like those of professional athletes, your workouts should make you feel like you’re gradually increasing in strength. If you’re feeling weak, you may be overdoing it.
  • On a daily basis, you shouldn’t notice pain in your body if you’re young, healthy, and active. Are you noticing aches and pains more often?
  • How’s your mental health? If you’re feeling depressed, irritable, or sad without cause, your workouts may be impacting your moods.

What you can do to combat exercise addiction

While overexercising might be harmful, the good news is that the consequences of over-exercising can be reversed. Take a one- to two-week break from training, which may be enough time for your mood, energy, and motivation to return to normal.

If you’re still having overtraining symptoms after taking that much time off, talk to your doctor about whether you need to take further time off or if there’s an underlying condition that needs to be treated.

After you’ve taken this time off and as you return to training, make sure you’re taking steps to not jump right back into an overexercising routine. You’ll want to focus on:

  • How to eat well. You’ll want to nourish your body with the calories you need for how active you are. Make sure you eat a balanced nutritious diet to lose weight and stay healthy.
  • Hydration. Your fluid intake is vital for many key bodily processes, and you need extra hydration when you exercise. Staying hydrated can also help ease muscle strain and pain.
  • Sleep. Getting plenty of sleep at night helps ensure your body has the energy it needs to get through the workouts you want to do. The National Sleep Foundation recommends getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
  • Leaving time for rest and recovery. Have your workout rest days. Take at least one day off from exercise per week, and leave at least six hours between workouts for adequate recovery.
  • Not overdoing it. Avoid exercising in extreme heat or cold, which is taxing to the body. And cut back on exercise when you’re coping with many other stressors in your life.
  • Ask for help. Sometimes, it’s essential to get help from professionals. If you experience a physical injury from your training, you will benefit from the intervention of a medical professional. It can also be beneficial to talk to a mental health professional who can help you get back on track so that exercise helps, rather than harms, your emotional well-being.

References:

https://www.byrdie.com/over-exercising-5097906

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/5-signs-you-re-working-out-too-hard-ncna1053186

https://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness/are-you-exercising-too-much-heres-how-to-tell-and-why-it-can-be-risky/

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000807.htm

https://www.webmd.com/men/features/exercise-addiction

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/04/well/move/too-much-exercise.html

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