Over-worked Body

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Over-exercising can cause problems to your health and well-being.

I’m always recharged after a run. Yes, during it, I might be so out of breath that I’d swear off running, but whenever I cool down after the run, I’d feel so refreshed, proud of myself (even if it’s only a 10 minute run), and life suddenly becomes more bright and cheery.

When we exercise, our body releases chemicals called endorphins. I call it “feel good” hormones. According to WebMD, these endorphins help to reduce perceptions of pain and trigger a “euphoric” feeling in the body. It is why regular exercise is beneficial on so many counts especially so when the person is suffering from depression or high anxiety. The “euphoria” can make us feel good about ourselves, raise our positive outlook on life, and basically give us the feeling of control and self confidence to take on anything

People exercise for various reasons. The main ones are staying fit and maintaining our weight and body shape. In our society, staying slim is often considered to be one of the defining attributes of looking good. Thus, we keep tabs on our diets and the amount of exercise we do in order to keep the weight off the scale.  And some in certain professions may find themselves putting in more effort than others to upkeep their body image; people like celebrities, dancers or athletes for example.

Despite the many benefits of exercise, too much of it could be harmful to health and well-being. Exercise, like any other activity, should be conducted in moderation. When we find ourselves thinking and planning about exercise workouts and working out so much that we’re forfeiting our time with friends and family, this is not a good sign. It might signal an addiction to exercising. An addiction to exercise would mean spending time working out excessively despite nursing an injury or spending up to two hours a day for most days a week, often without a day of rest.

A group of people who’re prone to over exercising would be those suffering from eating disorders. This group may exercise excessively because of distorted views of their appearance and body image, often thinking they’re either too fat or big than they actually are. And they’d usually restrict their food intake while upping their exercise regimen in order to achieve their desired body shape. The consequences of over exercising are not pretty:

Joint injury
High impact exercises are exercises that involve lifting the feet off the floor such as jumping ropes and running. These exercises are reported to help strengthen bones, increasing bone density that would help keep osteoporosis at bay especially critical for women. Excessively doing it would however put extreme strain on the body muscles, causing them to wear down over time. Others might experience joint injuries from excessive running or activities straining the knee joints for example; as a result they might develop bone fractures, arthritis, or problems walking in their later years.

Reduced performance
When exercise makes you feel weak, tired, and lethargic and that your performance in a game for example is less than par, you are likely to be over exercising. After engaging in sports activities, our muscles need time to recover. When insufficient recovery time is given, you’re likely to incur further injuries if you press on with the workout.

Sleeping problems
Some reports have indicated that vigorous exercise carried out with a low-fat diet can cause insomnia. Excessive exercise can cause fatigue and at the same time release hormones that keep our mind alert therefore preventing a fitful sleep. The usual advice would be to avoid exercising late in the day before bedtime with early in the morning being the best timing to do your exercise.

Excessive working out can cause serious health complications. However there’re ways to cope with it:

Work with a personal trainer
Discuss your fitness goals with your trainer and he or she can then craft a personal routine for you. Working with a trainer will help to ensure you are keeping to your goals and not veering off track by overtraining. By engaging a trainer, you can also be hands off planning your fitness programme as he or she would be the expert to guide you towards meeting your goals.

Stay hydrated
Some effects of over exercising are nausea, cramping, and heart palpitations and more. Sip plenty of energy fluids or water during exercise and do not push yourself over the limit. Once you extend your body beyond its limit, the body is more prone to injury like muscle pull and joint or ligament damage. When that happens, the damage caused would be long-term and recovery time would be much longer.

Vary your workouts
Factor in sufficient breaks during your workout. And always warm up and down before and after each workout to lubricate the joints and warm the muscles. Instead of engaging in high impact exercises all the time, vary with some low impact ones like swimming, Pilates, or yoga. And also schedule in sufficient recovery time after each workout to give your muscles time to recuperate.

Cut down on exercise
Excessive exercise can cause burnout and fatigue. Rather than a pleasurable activity, you begin to find it a burden. That’s when you’re over doing it. Moderate your exercise regimen by starting with milder forms of exercise like cycling or walking for 20 minutes. Then increase the amount of exercise and time until you’re exercising for 45 minutes to an hour for three or four days a week. Build up the pace slowly and always know when to stop when you feel you’re over exerting.

Let go of exercise
If you find yourself planning for exercise workouts every other day and for two hours straight, try to divert your time away by engaging in other activities that are not adrenalin-pumping. Go for other relaxation and “feel good” activities like spa, massage, or even meditation exercises.

Speak to a professional
Those who’re at risk of compulsive exercise should always seek professional advice with a medical doctor.

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