Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Why Over Exercising Can Be Harmful

Anytime you exercise, your brain releases chemicals known as endorphins that produce a feeling of euphoria, which is known as "runners high", which is also very easy to become chemically addicted to.

Although of course there are certainly worse things to be addicted to, the danger comes in wanting this rush so badly that you don't listen to what your body is telling you and stop when appropriate.

English: Original U.S. Navy description: The &...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The main reason exercise addicts will continue to push themselves lies in what will happen when they don't work out. Normally when they are unable to exercise, they will display signs of depression, anxiety, confusion, and be less happy with themselves. You also need to listen to your body here - it is telling you it needs more exercise! But you've got to be careful not to overdo it just because it feels so good.

Over-exercising will initially do what exercise is intended to do, and give you a fit body, but once you cross the line however, there can be some rather major negative effects. Muscle damage, osteoarthritis, and heart problems will all be waiting in the wings if you continue to overdo it.  The body has limits and if you push beyond that limit, you'll do nothing but harm yourself.

Obsessive exercise tends to happen among those who are new to exercise.  If you've just started a new exercise program and you are keen to reap the benefits of getting fit, you can tend to overstep the limits.

The initial signs of over exercise are exhaustion, which can lead to a build up of fatigue.  Keep in mind, it isn't only the muscles that are at risk, but the bones as well.  Many people who over exercise push themselves to the point of injuries such as shin splints or even stress fractures, then refuse to rest, which causes greater and sometimes even permanent damage.

Even a brisk walk in the morning doesn't come without risk, as walking too much can lead to osteoarthritis.  When you walk, you are working against gravity.  Even though you are exercising your muscles, you are also harming your knee joints as well - especially if you walk on a hard surface like concrete sidewalks.

Osteoarthritis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Many people who walk up to an hour or more everyday end up with complaints of aches in the knees.  The fact is, jogging also harms the knees, and too many sit ups can hurt as well.  As with any type of exercise, moderation is the key.

You should always start off gradually, and combine several different types of activities and workouts, which is one thing that obsessive exercisers forget to do.  One of the biggest complication factors of people who get addicted to exercise is that they will tend to perform the same workout each and every day, which further increases the risk of permanent damage - and if you're striving for weight loss, this can also plateau your results. Your body works best when stimulated with a variety of movements and activities.

And you should never work out to the point where you feel completely exhausted once you have finished. Your limit with exercise should be 45 minutes to an hour, four or five days a week.  When you are finished, your workout should leave you feeling fresh and energetic.  Every week you should make it a point to take a day's break - as your body will need to relax and rejuvenate.

The key to achieving this completely lies in your attitude, as exercising is one of the most important ways to a healthy life.  If you do it only to lose a few pounds now and then, you're missing the point. But if you take things one day at a time and don't over do it, you'll be well on your way to a healthy body.  Exercising can be a lot of fun and even a way to relax, if you don't push it.  Start off slow and gradually work your way up.

Before you know it, you'll know how to prevent injuries before they happen and you'll know exactly what you need to do to remain healthy - just listen to your body and it will tell you!

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