Exercise is any physical activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health. It is performed for a variety of reasons such as to aid growth, prevent aging, develop muscles, honing athletic skills and much more. Exercise is imperative as it not only helps us to maintain a healthy lifestyle but also aids in preventing a wide range of diseases. So what happens if you do too much of it? Is too much exercise bad for you?
One of the biggest problems in the US these days is obesity. 39.6% of the entire population is obese, according to the American Medical Association. This is alarming especially because this percentage is much lower in other countries around the world. Exercise is one of the most effective cures for obesity. However, as much as it is important, excess physical activity or exercise is detrimental in its own way.
If you are putting in too many hours at the gym or training too hard for sports, your body may begin to respond negatively. Overtraining is a common condition among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. As a result, it can lead to a variety of symptoms, both physical and psychological.
Over Exercising Symptoms
If you are exercising excessively, you might notice various effects on your physical health over time. Over-exercising affects the heart by increasing the resting heart rate. You might also experience sudden weight loss and loss of appetite.
Overtraining can cause stress, fatigue, ongoing muscle and joint pain unrelated to a specific injury, difficulty sleeping or not feeling rested when you wake up.
Additional Psychological Effects
If you do not feel mentally prepared for exercise, you might be experiencing the psychological effects of overtraining. You might notice frequent mood swings with increased anger/ irritability, or that the enthusiasm you once felt towards your sport has drastically plummeted. This condition can also cause impaired performance in other areas of your life, such as your studies or work.
Stress and Hormones
Overtraining or exercise can lead to increased stress and hormonal changes. As a result of this condition, your levels of stress hormones tend to increase. It is also possible to experience a decrease in testosterone levels, which can have negative consequences for both men and women. Your overall immune system may weaken, leading to frequent illnesses.
The ideal way to prevent overtraining is to follow a proper and guided schedule that varies your exercise load and includes compulsory rest phases. Treatment for both the physical and psychological symptoms of overtraining requires attention from medical professionals. These problems created by overtraining are serious in nature and should be addressed immediately. This might also help improve your psychological symptoms. The first and most vital step for treatment is simply recognizing that you are suffering from the condition.
There are many things in life which provide benefit to us when we use them optimally, but when we over utilize or overdo these things, things become worse. Some of them even affect our health both physically and mentally such as in our case of our exercise. Exercise can be a blessing for your health only if you do with proper guidance and training.
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