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Exercise is beneficial to your health, over-exercising is not

Exhausted runnerRegular exercise is part of a healthy balance lifestyle – absolutely. In fact we believe that you should incorporate a little exercise into your daily life. But sometimes this can be taken out of context, to extremes, and if so you can end up doing yourself more harm than good.

Exercise is a great way to feel good, improve your self-esteem, be healthier, have more energy and some may say, live longer. So it’s important to think about the exercises you do on a daily basis but make sure you’re not over-doing it.

With the Tabata method for example, we suggest 3 workouts per week. These last for just 4 minutes but working at 100% effort, therefore getting your heart rate fast enough to have positive effects. On the days you’re not doing the Tabata method, we advise walking for half an hour, doing light stretching, as well as making sure you get plenty of rest and take at least 1 day off completely.

Why is this so important?

Taken to the extreme, over-exercising can have damaging results. Your body can literally start eating into your muscle mass. So rather than being healthy, fit and able, you’ll actually be weaker and less energetic than before.

Here are 5 signs that you may be exercising too much:

1. Ongoing physical and mental fatigue.
Working out every day; refusing to head out on social occasions due to missing a training session; not being able to focus at work… if this sounds familiar you’re working out too much. You are literally exhausting yourself both physically, through the actual training, and mentally, through the thought of the last session and the next one.

2. Constant injuries.
Exercising too hard and too often will put too much strain on your tendons and ligaments resulting in strains, tears and fractures.

3. Low immune system.
The effects of over-exercising will quite simply exhaust your body and therefore weaken your immune system. If this happens you open the door to colds, viruses, and other potentially more serious illnesses.

4. Loss of weight and muscle mass.
If you’re seeing the weight drop off and your appetite diminish, your body will start to dig into its reserves for energy, which it needs in order to continue exercising at the pace you are. This will result in serious weight loss as well as muscle mass reduction as the body compensates internally for the lack of external nutrition.

5. Insomnia.
Whilst the right amount of exercise is hugely beneficial for sleep, too much exercise can keep the body awake at night. This is caused by the chemical cortisol – the body’s natural chemical that keeps you alert. This is obviously valuable during the day, but sadly you can’t turn it off by night if your body is producing too much through over-exercising.

Exercising should make you feel good, fit and healthy – for your body type. It is not meant to leave you feeling tired, depressed and weak.

How much are you exercising?

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