A little bit of exercise is good, so it goes to follow that the more the better, right? This is not always true. In fact, getting too much exercise may be just as bad for you as getting none. Some people get so addicted to exercise that it becomes a mental health issue. People with certain eating disorders may be prone to over exercising because they feel it will help them get skinnier. The problems with getting too much exercise, besides having little free time, is that your body needs a break from working out so it can repair, rebuild, and get stronger. Adopting healthy exercise habits, on the other hand, helps prevent a myriad of health conditions, including obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Recommendations for exercise
Most people need an average of 2-1/2 hours of cardiovascular exercise each week. Walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, and biking are examples of cardio workouts. People who need to lose weight can often safely exercise for up to five hours each week. However, going way above and beyond these recommendations might not be all that great for your health. Spread your exercise time out through the week, which keeps your metabolism going and your progress on track. Strength train two or three times each week, making sure to target each of your major muscle groups at each workout. Take a day of rest between each strength training session.
Injuries due to over exercising
People who over exercise increase their risk of injuries, particularly those due to overuse. When you push your muscles and bones to their limit day after day, they begin to wear down. This can compromise your performance and result in a break, sprain, strain, or other painful condition. When you take a day off, your muscles are able to repair and your bones can build in density. This is when gains in mass, strength, and endurance occur. The bottom line is that skipping your day off in favor of another day at the gym might actually be getting in the way of getting the most out of your workout.
In some cases, people who over exercise also suffer from anorexia. This dangerous eating disorder is characterized by strict calorie control and persons with the condition usually fail to take in enough calories to support their bodily functions, let alone enough extra to fuel a regular exercise session. Being severely underweight, as is often the case with people who are over exercising and not eating, can cause your internal organs to shut down and may even result in death. When you exercise, your brain releases feel good endorphins. The “high” you get from exercising may become addictive, in which case you’ll be facing withdrawal and recovery issues similar to those that people with substance abuse issues face.
Making a commitment to healthy exercise habits is beneficial for many reasons. Not only will you have more time for other pursuits, but you’ll be able to balance eating and exercise with also keeping your body slim, trim, and healthy. You might be surprised to learn that getting the most out of exercise doesn’t require hours at the gym. Even 10 to 15 minutes at a time is beneficial. Fill your days with several shorter workouts to keep the good feelings that exercise offers, without jeopardizing your health.