Could You Be Exercising Too Much?
It turns out that you can have too much of a good thing.
Exercise is good for everybody. It can help you lose weight and gain more muscle. It can boost your energy and increase your strength and flexibility. It can reduce the risk of getting cardiovascular diseases and help you sleep better. Exercise can give you all these benefits and more—most people already know this.
However, a person can only benefit from exercise if it is done in moderation or to a healthy amount. While there may be a lot of people who condone a lack of exercise in their lives and absolutely need to get moving, there is a minority that could do with decreasing the intensity and frequency of their workouts.
Could you be one of those people? Know from these signs:
- You get tired instead of energized after working out.
- You get sick easily, and it takes you a long time to recover from a sickness.
- You suffer from insomnia or feel lethargic even if you’ve had enough sleep.
- Your self-esteem and level of self-worth is dependent on how much you exercise on a certain day.
- You feel extremely guilty or depressed if you can’t exercise and become irrationally upset or mad when you are forced to cancel your workouts because of unforeseen reasons (sickness, sudden overtime at work, surprise parties, etc.)
- You prioritize your workouts over your work or family gatherings or social obligations, or you arrange the latter around your rigorous workout schedule.
- You push yourself to work out even when you’re extremely sick or tired.
If you experience many or all the items on this list, it may be time to take a few, or even several steps, back in your exercise routine. It’s time to bring your relationship with exercise back to a healthy level. Here are some steps you can take:
Do away with the rigid schedule.
A schedule is beneficial when you have a goal you are working toward as it helps you to focus and achieve your goal. But if your workouts are beginning to be harmful to you, a schedule is not so much of a good thing. It can be hard, but see if you can stay away from your schedule for a couple of days. You can take this time to engage in your other interests or spend time with your loved ones. Once you go back to your schedule, try to ease yourself into your workout instead of going full force right away. Put yourself in the mind-set of enjoying your time working out instead of pressuring yourself to think like “I have to burn this many calories today” or “I have to do this amount of bench presses a day.” Relax and go easier on yourself.
Think movement, not exercise.
Doing away with or reducing the intensity of your workouts doesn’t mean you’ll be neglecting the physical needs of your body. The key is to think in terms of movement, not how many repetitions of a set you do. Think of alternative activities you can do that still entail movement but are less rigid or demanding, like walking, yoga, or even dancing. Many over-exercisers have switched to these less grueling activities and have found them restorative. Even doing household chores can be a form of movement that burns as many calories as a workout, plus you will have the benefit of a cleaner and more organized house.
Look for balance.
Less is more, especially in terms of high-intensity exercises. Exercise induces your body to create HGH or the human growth hormone, otherwise known as the fitness hormone. But once you’ve already reached a level of fitness, you don’t really need such frequent bursts or high levels of the said hormone. Instead, what your body needs more is recovery, which it won’t get if you constantly engage in high-intensity exercises all the time. Instead, strive to create balance in your exercise routine by alternating intense workouts with less strenuous exercises like pilates or yoga, which help to develop your body’s core muscles.
As an over-exerciser, you’ve engaged in hard, rigorous activities that leave you feeling exhausted and haggard at the end of the day. But now that you’ve finally given yourself some leeway, why not take this time to make yourself feel and look good in other ways? You have many options. You can revamp your wardrobe and shop for clothes that will show off that fit body you’ve worked so hard for. You can go for a complete spa treatment. You can even undergo a total makeover by buying extensions from Human Hair Extension Online. These may be simple things, but you will find that the feeling you get from pampering yourself in such ways will give you a different feeling of enjoyment and reward, not to mention the added advantage of looking so much better.
When was the last time you enjoyed working out? If you can’t remember or can’t even answer right away, then you might have a problem with exercise addiction. Exercise is a good thing—that is a fact. But like how it is with everything else, the key is moderation.