In most cases, exercise is healthy and beneficial. In addition to helping you control your weight, some of the main benefits of physical activity include reducing your risk of developing heart disease, improving your energy and mood, and strengthening your bones and muscles to avoid issues like back pain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends about 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. When you work out much more than that, however, you could be doing harm to your body.
Whether you are an athlete or exercise enthusiast or are just looking for ways to stay healthy, it is important to know what excessive physical activity can do to your health. The following symptoms, side effects, or conditions are what can happen if you overwork yourself. Keep this information in mind as you create your weekly exercise routine. It will give you the motivation to design a moderate yet effective plan to improve your strength, immunity, and wellness.
Breakdown of Skeletal Muscle
If you work out too much, your muscles can become damaged. As the muscle fibers continue to break down, a condition known as rhabdomyolysis can occur in the body. When rhabdomyolysis happens, a protein known as myoglobin is released into the bloodstream. While it is usually important for storing oxygen in your muscles, an excess can lead to serious health complications such as kidney damage.
Recognizing the symptoms of the breakdown of skeletal muscle can help you avoid further problems. Pay attention to muscle weakness, fatigue, and soreness. You may also notice you have bruising, dark urine, and low urine output. If you have been exercising excessively and have any of these symptoms, contact a doctor right away. Many people can be treated with fluids given through an IV, and then be released from care. If you ignore symptoms of rhabdomyolysis, however, you may need dialysis to reverse kidney damage.
Some people who work out too often develop a condition known as overtraining syndrome. Many athletes refer to it as burnout, but it is much more than simply being tired of participating in sports or completing training sessions. The syndrome is a combination of physical, emotional, and mental symptoms that can affect both your physical activity and the way you live your life.
Common physical symptoms of overtraining syndrome include chronic muscle pain, an increase in your normal resting heart rate, and weight loss. It may also become more difficult to stay energized during workouts or recover from sports-related injuries.
Mental and emotional side effects of this condition include a lack of enthusiasm, increased irritability, and problems with sleep. It is also possible to experience mood or personality changes. If you are experiencing these issues and also feel like your training is dominating your life, it is to make changes.
You should also watch for other common warning signs like no longer enjoying your favorite sport or a desire to skip your regular workouts. Reducing the number of days you exercise per week or lessening the amount of time you devote to your workout routines can help relieve you of your symptoms. If a low mood or a lack of motivation continues for more than a few weeks, have a conversation with your doctor.
Weakened Immune System
While it is no secret that too much exercise can impact your mental and physical health, some people do not know that it can also impact your immune system. Health says that extreme exercise over-stresses the body. When this imbalance occurs, it increases the chances of developing an illness. This is especially true for competitive runners, cyclers, and swimmers, who tend to train or race at an intense pace for 90 minutes or longer.
You do not have to race or compete to have problems with your immune system. When you exercise intensely for weeks or months, your risk of developing an infection can also increase. This is why keeping up with a moderate level of physical activity is so important.
Spread your activities out over five days of the week, and then allocate two days to rest. When it is time to exercise, all you need is 30 minutes of your favorite solo or group activity. Dancing, playing team sports, or power-walking outdoors could be all that you need to stay fit and boost your immune system.
If you are an athlete or want to meet your exercise goals, consider working with a certified trainer or physical therapist. They can help you get stronger and healthier without harming your immune system.
Exercising for Health & Wellness
Now you know how delicate the balance is between working out for your health and exercise that can damage your body. To ensure you stay well, follow CDC guidelines, and talk to your doctor about the right exercise plan for your needs. If you find that you are experiencing frequent fatigue or muscle pain, rest your body. If the time off helps, consider exercising less intensely or less often until you find the right combination of results and wellness.
When you are experiencing discomfort, solutions such as laser therapy for back pain can help you to feel better and get back to healthy, moderate physical activity. The major benefit oftherapies like these is that they can help to reduce pain, muscle spasms, and inflammation without any known side effects. Research your options and talk to your doctor about what is right for you. With a positive approach to your wellness, you can find the right balance between exercise and whole-bodywellness.