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How Too Much Exercise Can Be Bad For Your Health

Woman exhausted after a workout

Exercise is good for your health – we all know that. But it is possible to exercise too much. In fact, recent studies have found that overdoing it could cause damage to your body and your brain.

How Much Is Too Much Exercise?

Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, improve your cardiovascular health, lower your risk for diabetes, and even improve your mood. But, as in most cases, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. How much is too much exercise involves several factors, including your age, your health, and the type of exercise.
As a general rule, adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise, or some combination of the two every week according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you go beyond that, CDC says you’ll gain even more health benefits. However, some research has shown that going way beyond CDC’s recommendation can lead to adrenal fatigue. This can cause symptoms including body aches, lightheadedness, and extreme fatigue.

Pushing Yourself Too Hard Can Increase Stress Hormones

High-intensity, long-duration exercise can push your body past its limits. This can cause you to release more of the stress hormone, cortisol. When you make more cortisol, it can lead to fatigue, reduce your performance, and cause weight gain around the belly. Throwing your hormones out of whack with too much exercise can affect your entire central nervous system, and not in a good way. To avoid pushing your body too hard, limit the frequency of your trips to the gym and choose an exercise routine that is either low intensity/long duration or high intensity/short duration.

How Can You Tell If You’re Exercising Too Much?

Pushing your body can help you become stronger and faster, but it is also important to rest. It gives your body a chance to recover. If you push yourself too hard for too long, you may experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Inability to perform at the same level
  • Feeling depressed
  • Feeling tired
  • Losing motivation
  • Needing longer periods of rest
  • Mood swings or irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sore muscles or heavy limbs
  • Overuse injuries
  • Losing weight
  • Catching more colds
  • Experiencing anxiety

If you are exercising and experiencing these symptoms, rest for a week or two, or at least cut back on your exercise. If you are still tired after one or two weeks of rest, see your doctor. Our experienced agent can help ensure you have the health insurance coverage you need.

How To Avoid Overdoing It

To avoid overdoing it in the first place, listen to your body and get enough rest. Eat enough calories, drink plenty of water, and try to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. Rest for at least six hours between exercise periods and take one full day off from exercise every week.