We are constantly being told why exercise is good for us. However, there can be too much of a good thing, and experts caution against overworking a workout.
This apparently is an invitation to injury and sapping of physical strength.
The argument against overdoing it
Whether you’re fit or out of condition, it is possible for you to overdo your exercise regime. There is an optimum point to which you should exercise according to Geralyn Coopersmith, national director of the Equinox Fitness Training Institute.
Like any medicine, exercise should be done within these optimum levels. Too little and you don’t get any benefit from it.
Too much and you end up having problems such as injury, tiredness and so on. Moodiness, irritability, fatigue, fast heartbeat, fever and lowered productivity could be signs that you could be overdoing your fitness routine.
Injuries of overuse
Tendonitis, shin splints, heel spurs are some of the commonly seen injuries that stem from overdoing it.
It is important to remember that exercise is a stressor and there is only so much the body can handle before it starts to break down from the stress. If some days are intense in terms of your workout, others should be less so.
It has been seen that too much exercise works in rather the same way as a drug, where a person may start to crave their ‘fix’. Runner’s high is a real phenomenon and could make you want to go on forever. While exercise is not a drug per se, it can act on the body in the same way as a powerful pharmacologic agent.
So how much is too much?
Overdoing exercise it can actually damage your heart and cause a problem called Phidippides cardiomyopathy. While athletes will fare better than your average couch potato in terms of longevity as well as good health, extreme athletes like marathon runners, iron man, distance triathlons and so on can cause structural changes to the heart and to some of the major arteries.
While the right amount of exercise can help to prevent heart disease, too much can actually cause problems and outweigh the benefits. It is important to let the body rest and recuperate after an event such as training for a marathon etc.
since this gives the heart and body time to return to normal. The important thing is to maintain that healthy balance where exercise is enough but not too much.