Can You Really Over Exercise? Signs You May Be Doing Too Much

Can You Really Over Exercise? Signs You May Be Doing Too Much

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Working out can very quickly become addictive - blame it on the endorphins or the visible results. However, one must always remember that exercise is deliberate exertion and a lot of us can no longer identify when we are over exerting ourselves.

As with everything, there is a safe upper limit to working out, beyond which you are actually over-stretching yourself.

Stage 1

Are you feeling heaviness and exhaustion, trouble sleeping, oversleeping, persistent soreness?
Are you feeling heaviness and exhaustion, trouble sleeping, oversleeping, persistent soreness?
(Photo: iStockphoto)

In milder cases of physical over stretching, your biggest telltale sign is fatigue. This could manifest in several ways – heaviness and exhaustion, trouble sleeping, oversleeping, persistent soreness and so on. This fatigue should act as your first cause for alarm. At this stage, you do not need to do much to regain your health.

Simple interventions such as incorporating more rest days into your workout regime, eating protein heavy and healthy meals, slightly decreasing workout load – these will do the trick.

Stage 2

Over exercising can lead to muscle damage.
Over exercising can lead to muscle damage.
(Photo: iStock)

The next level of over exercising has more severe outcomes. At this stage your physical exertion is actively lowering your immunity and making you unhealthy. This is more likely to happen to people who train heavily in endurance. Due to a high presence of cortisol in the blood stream – a steroid hormone released when we exercise – there is higher break down of the bone tissue.

Over time, with highly strenuous activity, your muscles too will begin to show signs of damage.

This usually shows as you begin to age, reducing your mobility and decreasing your immunity to disease because your muscles and bones are busted.

This stage of overdoing your exercise requires more stern changes.

In addition to eating better and resting more, you should consider altering the exercise regime to be far less laborious and to include lighter forms such as yoga. By this stage, you need to be considering an overhaul.

Stage 3

Over exercising can damage your reproductive health.
Over exercising can damage your reproductive health.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

This brings me to the grave stage. There is a small bunch of people that fall into a ‘compulsive exercise’ category who are usually also users of supplements such as steroids. On the outside they may look highly toned, but their bodies are being completely sapped through excessive exercise.

As a result, in addition to the symptoms of the previous two stages, reproductive health is compromised, the body is in a state of permanent exhaustion, and even extreme conditions of muscle breakdown could threaten one’s life. At this point, besides medical and psychological care, it is crucial for loved ones to render emotional support.

Exercising 4-5 times a week is incredible for your health and happiness. But like all the other things that are good for you, moderation should apply to exercise as well. Let us remember that exercise and rest need to go hand in hand. We must return to true fitness – a combination of a healthy diet, balanced exercise, and a happy mind.

Editor: Kunal Mehra

Camera: Sumit Bardola

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