Are you exercising too much?
Exercising too much, is that possible? Yes, exercise overload is just as much a problem as not exercising at all.
It is in fact well documented that doing a load of exercise can easily do more harm than good. If regular exercise is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle, taking it to the extreme may cause severe health issues.
For the majority of people, who struggle to exercise, the thought of doing too much may seem ludicrous. However, overtraining is much more common than one could assume. At the beginning, it may be simple enthusiasm, but then the idea that you can’t take a break from exercising creeps into your mind and before you know it you’ll find yourself falling into exercise overload. The problem arises when you feel the need to exercise beyond normal level, or better yet, beyond your normal level.
Here are some of the most common signs that you might exercising too much.
Delayed recovery time
Muscle soreness that last for days (if not weeks) after you workout might be a sign you need more rest. Overtraining means that you’re not giving your muscles enough time to recover and heal before you go at it again.
Training overload can manifest in a drop in your workout performance. Altered performance levels are apparent especially in endurance activities such as running, cycling or swimming; but can happen as well with crossfit, kettlebell or even Bikram yoga. A symptom of decreased performance is constant fatigue while you exercise.
Elevated resting heart rate
More stress to the heart means it has to work harder. An abnormal increase in your normal resting heart rate may indicate that you’re placing excessive stress on your body.
A sensible decrease in motivation or enjoyment of the activity can also be a major sign of burnout.
Depression, anger, confusion, anxiety and irritability are common when your body is overstressed physically. The stress hormones that are released when you’re emotionally stressed are also released when you’re physically overloaded, which explains the possible mood swings.
When you’ve lost weight but noticed an increase in body fat, you could be in the later stages of what is called exercise overload. This happens because the body responds to prolonged stress by elevating levels of stress hormones (such as cortisol). Over time this may lead to an increase in insulin resistance and in storage of adipose tissue, especially around the midsection.
Strong cravings for substances such as sugar and caffeine may be another sign of burnout. What happens is that your body is suddenly missing something but can’t properly identify what so it goes for the most primary needs.
What to do?
The most important thing you can do for yourself when you experience overtraining symptoms is