Everyone knows that exercising is a healthy habit but not enough people talk about how it can be harmful when done too much. Overexercising is a habit that can be developed without you even noticing, so it’s best if you have an idea of what to watch out for. This way, you can take breaks and let your body recover as it should. Let’s look at some of the most common signs of overexercising and what consequences these might have. Take note of them so you know what to do should you find yourself in these situations.
The first sign of overexercising will be recurring injuries, generally in the area that is being overworked. That should be easy to understand since our bodies are like machines. We experience wear and tear, too, albeit a little differently. The great thing about the human body is that when it recovers, it develops strength as well. This is why we work out, after all. The problem is that we don’t give it enough time. If we workout too frequently, the body won’t be able to strengthen itself and instead get weaker.
Feelings of Weakness
Working off of that previous point, overworking your body will lead to you feeling weak in general. You’ll first notice this if you are conscious of your cardio—you might notice that your times aren’t as good as they usually are, or you find yourself struggling to complete your usual distance. Once you recognise these signs, it might be time to step back and take care of yourself for a moment.
Poor Sleep Quality
Do you find yourself struggling to sleep despite feeling exhausted? Strange as it might be, an overworked body will sometimes have difficulty getting rest. This can be attributed to increased cortisol levels, a hormone related to stress. Typically, cortisol levels are low before rest but overexercise can cause your body to produce more than is necessary.
Overexercising can wear you out even when you haven’t worked out yet, manifesting as lethargy. Lethargy can be described as a general loss of energy—dragging your feet without noticing it, difficulty motivating yourself to be physically active, etc. If you notice that you’re currently experiencing this, this is a sign that you’re well past the comfortable point that your body can handle. Immediate rest and recuperation are suggested.
Unintended Weight Loss and a Diminished Appetite
Many would assume that people would work out to lose extra weight while also getting stronger. This might be true for the most part, but there should be limits. Overexercising can often result in losing more weight than expected, sometimes unhealthily. Over time, this can progress to you losing your appetite. Again, this would seem strange as you would expect to get hungry after working out. The problem is that when over exercising, you’re putting your body through so much stress that it doesn’t act as it should.
The bottom line here is that everyone has limits. There’s no shame in admitting that you’ve overworked yourself. In fact, it might be something to be proud of as it means paying attention to your body and its needs. Rest is an essential part of any proper workout routine—ensure your body gets enough of it.
If you’re looking for a gym near you with a sauna, Element Fitness has got your back. You can check out our 24-hour gym at Nunawading and Mitcham and experience our spacious free weights area, cardio equipment and sign up for any of our 45+ fitness classes. Contact us today to learn more!