Are You Exercising Too Much?

Are You Exercising Too Much?

Plenty of membership fees for gyms these days depend on how often you’ll use the equipment, which classes you’ll take, and if you’re opting for a personal trainer. It may all depend on what you’re getting.

Foe example, the standard monthly fee at Koko Fit Club is just $49 a month, but that’s only if you’re going with just cardio. Another plan than offers unlimited cardio with 12 high-intensity strength sessions will cost you $319 a month.

But at what point are you simply doing too much exercise. Come to think of it, what are the minimum exercise requirements? Here are some guidelines that can help you out:

Minimum Exercise Standards

The US Department of Health and Human Services has issued its Physical Activity Guidelines, which recommend a minimum of 2 hours and 30 minutes each week for moderate-intensity physical activity. Or you can go with 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous physical intensity per week.

These are the minimum exercise requirements for all adults, and these include the disabled and the elderly. Of course, you don’t have to do all these minutes of exercise in a single session. You can do 30 minutes of moderate exercises each day for 5 days a week. And in that day, you can even break it down further by maybe doing 10 minutes before breakfast, 10 minutes before lunch, and 10 minutes before dinner.

That’s just for aerobic exercises. You also need to do some weight loss exercises if you’re overweight, and do strength training workouts if you want to get stronger by building bigger muscles.

What’s Too Much?

Keep in mind that these minimum standards may seem too easy for experienced athletes and veteran gym rats. But on the other hand, what’s too much exercise? There’s actually no single standard for this, as each person is unique. This is actually one of the benefits of having a personal trainer—they can tell you when you’re overdoing it. In fact, they can keep you from overexercising in the first place.

However, there are signs you can look out for that may indicate that you’re doing too much exercise:

Chronic Aches and Pains

Yes, it’s normal to experience some muscle soreness maybe a day or even 2 days after a hard workout. But when it’s been a week and you’re still feeling aches and pains, you may be overdoing it.

And that’s also true with other types of injuries. If you push yourself too hard by lifting too much weight, or running too far or too frequently, then you’ll more likely to get hurt. Potential problems can include muscle sprains and strains, shin splints, and stress fractures.

You’re Not Getting Close to Your Fitness Goals

Overtraining ironically gets you farther away from achieving your fitness goals, whether you’re trying to lose weight, be stronger, or be faster. You may end up on a performance plateau, when you’re no longer improving your performance. The most likely reason is that you’re not letting your body recover from all your workout sessions.

Eventually, you may even get weaker instead of getting stronger, when you’re lifting too much weight or weightlifting too frequently. Your muscles get bigger when they’re allowed to repair themselves, but that won’t happen when you exercise those muscles too frequently.

You can also gain weight when you exercise too much, as surprising as that may seem. Overexercising results in chronic stress, which affects your cortisol (stress hormone) levels. That in turn can result in changes to your metabolism that leads to weight gain.

Reduction in Sleep Quality

It’s true, in general, that the more you exercise, the easier it gets for you to fall asleep. But that’s only true to a point. Too much exercise can prevent your parasympathetic nervous system from working right, and that’s the system responsible for your body’s rest-and-digest response.

Also, overexercising can affect your cortisol levels, which means your cortisol levels can still be overly high late at night. Normally, your cortisol levels are lowest right before you go to sleep.

Racing Heart Rate

Too much training can substantially increase your resting heart rate. When that happens even when you’re relaxing at home, then you might be doing too much training for your own good.

What’s Just Right?

To be really sure, get a personal trainer to help guide you towards a proper workout. But even if you don’t have a personal trainer, just check that you’re slowly getting towards your fitness goals, and you’re not experiencing the aforementioned signs of overexercising. If that’s the case, you’re doing just enough.

What Too Much Exercise Does To Your Body And Brain

Category: Featured