Too Much Of A Good Thing -
Warning Signs of Too Much Exercise From
eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource
Too much exercise can be just as bad as
overeating. It can actually become a very serious health concern. What are some
of the signs that you are going overboard when it comes to exercise? One of the
main signs that you are exercising too much is that you will find yourself
feeling exhausted instead of energized. You should not continue exercising to
the point of exhaustion. Other signs of overindulgence in exercise include
decreased performance, loss of appetite and frequent headaches. You may even
become aware of increased muscle soreness, loss of coordination or recurrent
illness. Depression can also be brought on by overexercising, as can
gastrointestinal disturbances and an abnormal increase in your heart rate in
So, what are some of the warning signs that
someone else may notice? How do you begin to distinguish that you or someone
you love is overexercising before the more serious physical symptoms set in?
This can be a fine line, but here are some of the basic signs:
If you suddenly find yourself engaged in
vigorous exercise for several hours at a time at least several times during the
week, it may be time to slow down. Exercise should allow for fun, and it should
not take away from school, friends or family. If you continue to workout after
an injury, this too could be a sign of trouble. You should not be so serious
about your exercise that it becomes a compulsion. Finally, if you do not gain
satisfaction from what you accomplish during exercise, then its time to
step back and re-evaluate your plan.
According to the Massachusetts Eating
Disorder Association, one of the ways you can tell if you are performing too
much exercise is to ask yourself these simple questions:
- Do you feel guilty or anxious when
you are not able to exercise for a day or over a period of time?
- Do you avoid other tasks and
responsibilities in order to exercise?
- Is your happiness based on how well
you exercise, or how good your workout was for a given day?
- Do you exercise even when you have
an injury, no matter how small or large it is?
Not only can too much exercise damage your
health, it can even make your muscles more prone to damage. Serious side
effects of rapidly building your muscles can include: pulled muscles, shin
splints, and knee, foot and back problems. These problems are not fun to deal
with and can have lifetime recurrences.
Professional athletes and movie stars are on
a program, where they work with a personal trainer that has created an exercise
program specifically for them. They dont start out training for hours on end.
They start out slow and gradually work their way up to a more vigorous workout.
Not only does this allow the body more time to adjust to the changes, it is the
healthy way to develop muscles.
Overindulgence in anything, whether it is
exercise or eating, can be dangerous. The key is to maintain a healthy balance.
Results that are healthy and lasting can take anywhere from a few months to a
year, so be realistic in setting your goals and give your body the time it
needs to adjust to your new, healthier lifestyle.
The top ten signs you are exercising too
1. Decreased performance
3. Loss of appetite
4. Muscle soreness/tenderness
5. Gastrointestinal disturbances
6. Prolonged recovery
7. Loss of coordination
8. Recurrent illness
9. Morning heart rate is faster than
10. Depression, apathy, problems
concentrating, lower self-esteem and unmanageable stress
If you are experiencing any combination of
these symptoms and feel you cant manage them on your own, you should
consult a professional.
Dr. Nancy Tice is a psychiatrist with
extensive experience furnishing medical information and writing articles for
online services. She did her medical training at The Albert Einstein College of
Medicine in New York. She moderates her own support group called "Rx for
Success," writes articles for the eDiets newsletters, holds online meetings and
answers questions in our Expert Interaction section.