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Is it Possible to Over Exercise?

Sep 29, 2010

When starting an exercise program to aid weight loss or improve health, many dieters will be enthusiastic about getting healthy, but is it possible to over exercise and exceed what is medically necessary for balanced and healthy weight loss?

Signs of Over Exercising

While it might feel invigorating to push your body on occasion by making your morning run just a little longer or lifting just a few more weights at the gym, there are things you can look for to recognize that you’re pushing your body beyond what is medically safe.

Signs that you might be exercising too much include such symptoms as muscle fatigue or joint pain, insomnia, loss of appetite, an increased number of illnesses such as colds and sore throats, and a lack of motivation. Over exercising can result in injuries to an exhausted body and will allow you to become more susceptible to illness.

If you are at the beginning stages of improving your health and nutrition, it is important to ease into an exercise routine so as not to risk injuring a body that is not used to exercise. Slowly adding time to your workouts each week will allow you to strengthen your body at a healthy pace without the risk of over training or fatigue.

Compulsive Exercising or Obligatory Exercising

Just as eating disorders affect the health of the body, so too can exercising excessively and in some individuals, the zeal to exercise can venture into a disorder known as compulsive exercising. While it is a generally accepted fact that an hour a day of heart-pumping activity is sufficient for steady weight loss (assuming a healthy diet), some individuals will push much further and fatigue their bodies with too much exercise. Compulsive exercising can be dangerous and puts one at risk of physical and emotional exhaustion.

It is important to note that there is a difference between a professional athlete who will spend a significant amount of their day in pursuit of a professional goal and a person who exercises so much that their body is harmed by the amount of physical exertion. A professional athlete is often supported by a dedicated health professional and will work out heavily under the care of a physician or coach.

Proper Nutrition and Rest

As with anything that will put a strain on the body, exercise and weight loss must be accompanied by proper nutrition and rest. It is possible to support a routine of heavy exercise, but it is important to note that time spent at rest is just as important as the time spent at the gym. The advice and care of a physician can also aid in ensuring you are not pushing your body beyond what is safe and required for weight loss and improved health.

If you feel you’re not receiving enough benefit from a particular workout, no matter how long that workout might last, it might be as easy as trying something new. Changing your workouts on a regular basis aids in keeping the muscles active and challenged.

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