When it comes to healthy habits, too much of a good thing tends to back fire. For most of the world, the biggest challenge is to get themselves motivated to exercise regularly or at all on regular basis. However, a small percentage of people exist that actually struggle with the opposite of this i.e. they exercise too much. While exercise itself is known to have tremendous benefits however, compulsive exercising may result in eating disorders. There comes a point when the amount of exercise being undertaken exceeds the body’s ability to recover. At this point, instead of getting stronger and more active, over exercising would instead contribute towards making you slower, sicker and unhappy.
Over doing exercise can actually lead to increased body fat and diminished strength level. This is our body’s way to demand a break in order to recover from the stress level. Here are some self help ways in which your body will let you know if you are over exercising or headed towards exercise burnout.
The most common and easily noticeable sign of overload is a drop in your workout performance. If exercising leaves you exhausted instead of energized then it shows lack of progression. This is because in order for a muscle to grow it first has to recover. Over training prevents it from returning back to its actual level. This is more evident in workouts including swimming, running etc.
Elevated Resting Heart Rate
When you tend to put a greater strain on your heart, it has to work a lot harder. This results in an increase in the resting heart rate. Irregular heart rate is evidence of the fact that you are placing excessive stress on your body.
Fatigue and Lethargy
Over exercising leads to heavy legs i.e. tired and overly fatigued legs caused by muscles that just did not get enough time to fully repair and recover themselves. Chronic soreness and feeling groggy after a workout are ideal signs of excess exercise. Moreover, tiredness is the first warning that your body gives when it wants you to stop.
Being in, a constant state of overload results in disrupting our sleep patterns. Such that instead of getting enough sleep you become restless and are unable to sleep at all. When you are exercising too much, your body interprets is as a stressor and releases the cortisol (stress) hormone that makes sleeping difficult.
Depression, anger, anxiety, irritability and confusion are common symptoms that occur due to over exercising. This occurs because our body has the tendency to secrete the same hormones after prolonged training sessions as those released due to stress.
It is important therefore, for compulsive exercisers to check themselves using these signs and to reassess their activity level and lifestyle accordingly. The goal should always be to attain the perfect balance between happy and fit living.
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