Is too much of a good thing ever bad for you?
So often I have a hard time making it to the gym on a regular schedule like I expect myself to. Sometimes there is a paper whose due date seems to creep up on me, or maybe a test I know I need to study for. Either way I always feel as if I’m not getting enough exercise for that given week. These times make me wonder, what is the perfect amount of exercise to see the largest benefits? Spoiler Alert: I don’t know.
But what I do know is what guidelines to follow and I know the warning signs of exercising too much and too little. Here they are:
These are some warning signs you are exercising too much:
• If you are always working out alone all the time, and while at the gym you isolate yourself from others. It’s bad to work out alone, but when it is a recurring theme it might be a warning sign.
• If you work out consistently with a routine lasting more than 2 hours.
• If you suddenly increase the routine length and total amount of time exercising
• If you are exercising through tough pains
All of these are possible signs of excessive exercising or overtraining. Continuing to exercise too much will actually cause a decrease in your body’s performance. You will become sorer, more prone to injury; you will possibly develop sleep problems or appetite changes. But most commonly many emotional changes will take place like becoming more depressed and anxious.
It is easier to see if you aren’t exercising enough because there are guidelines that tell us how much exercise we should be getting. 2.5 hours of moderate exercise a week, with two days of lifting weights. Every 2 minutes of moderate exercise, however, can be switched with one minute of high intensity exercise. Using these guidelines as a minimum will help you stay healthy and physically fit.
After learning what too much and too little exercise is, it is time to set time aside to meet these guidelines. Be cautious if you go way over and watch for the warning signs of too much exercise. If you feel you are overtraining give yourself a prolonged rest period so your body mentally and physically can recover.
*Minimum required amounts of exercise were taken from the “2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans”