In most cases, physical activity positively impacts your health and wellness. Some of the main benefits of exercising on a regular basis include better control over your weight, reduced risk of developing chronic illnesses and having stronger bones and muscles. According to the Mayo Clinic, most adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Healthy adults should strive to meet this goal for physical activity since less exercise can contribute to health problems and low energy.
While most people do not work out enough, it is possible to exercise too much. The following signs and symptoms will tell you if you are going overboard and need some rest. Paying attention to your body can help you to avoid injuries and medical issues. A focus on how you feel will also keep you interested in the ways you get active.
Aches & Pains
When you work your body too hard during exercise, you can expect to experience a variety of aches and pains. Some of the most common types of overuse injuries include shin splints, shoulder injuries, and muscle strains in the lower back. If you exercise too often, you are more susceptible to these kinds of problems.
If you are aching during or after your workout, improve your warm-up and cool-down routine. You should also evaluate whether you are exercising for too long or on too many days of the week. Stretching, alternative activities, and trying remedies such as laser therapy for back pain can also be helpful for finding relief and having the motivation to create a better workout routine.
Weak Immune System
When you get the recommended amount of exercise, you help to build a strong immune system. At the same time, working out too much or too little can impact your ability to catch viruses and bacterial illnesses. Research on exercise and immunity shows that overtraining can impair your immune function and cause you to be more susceptible to the common cold. It is also important to watch how long you work out. Studies show that more than 90 minutes of high-intensity endurance training can make adults more susceptible to illnesses for up to 72 hours after the activity.
If you find yourself getting more sick than usual, check your exercise schedule. Scale back on intense physical activity or shorten your workouts. Some people may find that trading their usual routine for a set of low impact exercises like swimming or yoga can help mend the body while staying in shape. When you are run down or have a cold, rest for a few days. Allowing the illness to run its course will help you get to top performance faster.
Changes in Mood
Getting the right amount of exercise can help to lift your mood, says WebMD. For one, it increases endorphins in the body, which can make you feel more positive and reduce perceptions of pain. Regular workouts can also help to reduce depression and anxiety by enhancing your self-esteem and improving sleep. When you are working out more than the recommended amount, you can reverse these positive effects and contribute to mood problems.
People who have a condition called overtraining syndrome can develop depression, tension, and confusion from exercising too much. Having a history of depression can make you more susceptible to these symptoms. Lightening your workout routine can help you to feel better. If you lessen your physical activity and still feel irritable, anxious, or sad, talk to your primary care doctor or mental health professional. They can help you make sense of your symptoms and find a plan to care for all aspects of your wellness.
Decrease in Motivation
Along with an increase in symptoms of depression or anxiety, too much exercise can also make you demotivated. Some people get tired of the same old routine, while others find that their workouts are dominating their schedule. If you find that you are not inspired to exercise, consider taking a few days off to rest, relax, or enjoy other hobbies. Another idea is to swap your usual activities with another type of workout.
If you are an avid running enthusiast, consider getting your cardio by riding a bicycle or swimming. People who like to lift weights at the gym or use free weights at home can try their hand at yoga or bodyweight exercises. Alternating different activities throughout the week can also help to keep things fresh. Spend a couple of sessions focusing on cardiovascular workouts like running on the treadmill, using a rowing machine, or jumping rope. The other days of the week should be reserved for stretching and improving your strength.
Problems with Sleep
It is true that exercising can help you to sleep, but too much physical activity has been shown to contribute to insomnia. Doctors say that exercising late in the day can cause you to feel too energized, which can make it hard to get to bed at night. Shape says that chronic stress and adrenal fatigue from overtraining syndrome can also contribute to sleep problems.
Everyone is different, so pay attention to your symptoms when you work out in the evening. Changing your exercise classes or training routines so that you do them in the morning or afternoon may help to end your insomnia. If your sleep issues are combined with a lack of motivation, depression, or a lack of immunity, it may be a sign that you need to step back and train a little less. Focus on getting enough sleep at night instead. Most adults have sleep requirements of 7-9 hours per night to function at their best.
Exercising for a Healthy Mind & Body
Exercise can provide a foundation for a healthy life. When you overuse your muscles or work out too often, however, you may become injured, stressed, or demotivated. Checking in with yourself on a regular basis can help you decide if your current exercise plan is right for you. Should you have any questions about your physical symptoms, back pain, or recommended treatments for your condition, talk to your doctor. A positive and proactive approach to your wellness will help to keep you active while ensuring you have a healthy mind and body.