Are You Exercising Too Much?

Photo Credit: USAF PD

Can too much exercise be a bad thing? Exercise is an important part of your healthy lifestyle. You should get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day and strength train a couple of days each week. Your body needs good nutrition, adequate sleep and moderate exercise to remain healthy and humming like a well-designed machine. But you can overdo it. Excessive exercise can cause serious health problems and interfere with a balanced life. If you experience any of the signs of excessive exercise, slow down and rest. 
One of the signs of excessive exercise is poor performance and fatigue. Your muscles need time to recover from exercise, especially strength exercises that work your muscles hard. You might misinterpret poor performance as the need to exercise harder and longer, but the opposite is true. More exercise only makes you feel more fatigued and decreases your performance even more. You might be exercising too much if you feel tired instead of energized after a workout. Take 2 or 3 days off from exercising to rest and allow your body to heal. 
Your heart rate naturally increases in response to exercise. After exercise, your heart rate returns to a normal resting rate. If your heart rate is taking longer and longer to return to a normal rate following exercise, you might be overdoing it. If your heart rate is still elevated after a cool-down, slow down and exercise less. Headaches after exercising are another sign that you are working your body too hard. Most people sleep better when they exercise regularly, but if you are over-exercising you might not sleep well. You may wake throughout the night or have trouble falling asleep. 
Muscle soreness that doesn’t go away in a couple of days and exercising even when you are injured are definitely signs of excessive exercise. Your muscles need time to heal after a strenuous workout. You only need to do strength exercises 2 or 3 times each week on non-consecutive days. Choose a less vigorous workout or take a few days off to recover. When your muscles are no longer sore and your injury healed, start slowly and stick to a regular exercise routine. 

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