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Can Too Much Exercise Be Bad for You?

January 31, 2017 | By Nicole Simmons
Published in: Fitness, Mental Health

Too much exercise can lead to health issues

Dangers of Pushing yourself Too HardEveryone knows exercise is necessary to have a truly healthy lifestyle, but is it possible to get too much of a good thing? While exercise yields a wealth of health benefits, pushing yourself too long or too hard may increase your risk of injury or have other adverse effects. But how do you know when you’re pushing yourself too hard? There is a fine line between an intense workout and overdoing it.

Here are five signs that your workout routine may be over the top and you should consider reigning things in a bit:

Exercise Leaves You Exhausted

Chronic fatigue may be a sign you're pushing your body too hardWhen you work out, it's normal to feel tired during your exercise routine, but you should feel a burst of energy and euphoria after you're done. If you're left feeling exhausted, and you're not recovering, you might be doing too much, too quickly. When you're working out, especially when getting back into the swing of things, you need to build up your endurance. You can't expect to run a marathon if you've been a couch potato for the last six months. Take it easy and pace yourself. You don't have to exhaust yourself to reap the benefits of exercise.

You're Always Sick or Feeling Depressed

If it takes you forever to get over a cold, or you just can't shake the blues, you may be pushing yourself too hard at the gym. Excessive amounts of exercise can impair your immune system and dampen your mood. This kind of stress on your body isn't healthful, so it's important to pay attention to the signals your body is giving you and take things in stride when it comes to daily exercise. There is much more to staying healthy than just physical activity.

Your Sleep Schedule is Suffering

If you're unable to sleep, or you can't seem to get enough sleep, you could be exercising too much or too intensely. Exercise should help you get to bed easier and feel rested when you wake up. If this isn't happening, you should try revising your routine. If issues still persist after adjusting your routine, you should make an appointment with your primary care physician to figure out what's going on. Along with physical activity, sleep is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle.

You're Feeling Sore for Days at a Time

It's okay to feel sore the day after a workout, especially if you've just started exercising. However, if you're feeling sore for days at a time, this is your body's way of telling you that something isn't right. You could have a muscle injury, or you're not resting enough in between workouts. If you take the time to rest and you're still feeling sore, you may want to check in with your doctor.

You Have a Short Fuse

Exercise releases endorphins in your body that normally create that coveted post-workout euphoria. If you're losing your temper and feeling agitated on a regular basis after your workouts, you might be exercising too much. If you don't normally have issues with anger and you're suddenly feeling like the Incredible Hulk when confronted with minor irritations, it might be time to scale back on your visits to the gym. Exercise is supposed to make you feel better, not angrier.

Serious Warning Signs

For some people, exercise can trigger serious health issues. Individuals with a genetic predisposition to heart attack and those who have not exercised on a regular basis should be on the lookout for the following severe warning signs:

  • Chest Pain
  • Trouble Breathing
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Severe Dizziness
  • Numbness and Tingling
  • Feeling Off

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to contact your doctor. You may have an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed, or you might need to amend your workout routine. Don't ignore these symptoms and try to press on, the results could be detrimental to your health.

Some exercise is always better than none, but "too much" varies from person to person. While some of us can engage in strenuous exercise until the "cows come home" others may be more susceptible due to genetics or physical anomalies. For most people, a moderate workout regimen will suffice, while others might need to take it slowly. It's always wise to seek the advice of your physician before starting a new exercise routine and pay attention to signals from your body.\

If you're serious about living a healthy lifestyle, Augusta Health is here to help. Whether it be our primary care team or our cardiology team, we have the experts you need to get back your energy and your health. We can't wait to help.