Exercise is a good thing, but don’t go overboard
10/17/2019 // Zoey Sky // Views

Regular physical activity is essential for your overall health, but there's also such a thing as exercising too much. Overdoing your workout can result in burnout and fatigue. Here's why it's important to pay attention to your body, especially if you prefer high-intensity workouts.

What happens when you work out too much?

Even though exercising is considered a healthy activity, overdoing your workouts can have negative side effects. If you're not sure whether you're exercising too much or too little, gauge your energy levels. What's a regular week like?

Do you feel tired but rejuvenated after an intense workout? Or does a weightlifting session at the gym leave you feeling drained and too exhausted to move? If you constantly feel depleted and too tired after going to the gym, you might need to make changes to your workout routine.

According to Nora Tobin, a performance coach and nutrition specialist, one of the first signs that you're exercising out too much is adrenal fatigue, which occurs when you're feeling tired throughout the day. If you're suffering from adrenal fatigue, drinking endless cups of coffee won't help your energy levels.

Working out too much can also cause unexplained weight gain. Overdoing the workouts puts stress on the body, and the stress can make you gain weight, especially in your abdominals.

Tobin explained that when the stress hormone cortisol is too high, it will pull from other parts of the body to compensate, like your thyroid and estrogen or testosterone. You may be following a healthy diet, but the hormone imbalance caused by overexercising will result in sudden weight gain and energy crashes. (Related: Training too long and hard can damage your thyroid.)


How do you treat and prevent exercise-related fatigue and burnout?

Symptoms like fatigue, low energy, and weight gain can significantly affect your daily life. Making some changes to your exercise routine can help address them.

Do you have the same workout day in and day out? If you're always doing a high-intensity workout every day, take a break. Changing up your routine will do wonders for your physical and mental health. It will also help prevent burnout.

If you prefer high-intensity interval training (HIIT), you can prevent fatigue and burnout by reducing the vigorous workouts and trying low-intensity exercise. Tobin noted that one way to do this is by limiting high-intensity workouts to only 40 minutes every other day. Alternate your HIIT workouts with low-intensity workouts like moderate aerobic activity.

You can also try Pilates, walking, or yoga. Doing this minimizes inflammation. Alternating HIIT with low-intensity activities gives your body a chance to recover faster and gives you better results for all your hard work.

For example, a typical week at the gym would include HIIT workouts three days weekly, with three days of low-intensity workouts in between. Take one day per week to rest or have a low-impact recovery day where you relax in a sauna, try yoga, take a long walk, or join a new low-impact exercise class.

Make the following lifestyle changes below to address adrenal fatigue:

  • Go to bed before 11 p.m. – This is essential because some people get a second cortisol surge after 11 p.m. that usually disrupts sleep patterns.
  • Replenish essential nutrients – Nutrients like magnesium, selenium, vitamin D, and zinc are essential for proper adrenal and thyroid function.
  • Stay hydratedDehydration is a major sign of adrenal fatigue.

Your body is a powerful yet delicate machine. It's capable of incredible things, but it can also get burned out. Whether you're exercising to lose weight or build muscle, alternate low- and high-intensity workouts to keep everything in balance and get only the best results.

Sources include:

MindBodyGreen.com 1

MindBodyGreen.com 2

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