Working out regularly is a must if you are on a mission to build muscles. Exercise should be combined with a good diet and plenty of recovery time between sessions. Ambitions for achieving goals quickly can drive us to over exercise and put our health at risk.
An extra exercise set or an extra session in the gym every now and then doesn’t seem like too big a push. We have all done it. In most cases we suffer sore muscles for a couple of days and then we are fine, ready for the next workout. In other cases it could lead to over exercise.
Remember though, it is easy to over exercise; especially if you are just starting out and eager to make quick progress. To achieve long term success it’s important to remind yourself often that there is no such activity as a quick fix. Working out too much and too often causes you to over exercise, which is not good for you, is likely to be a negative influence on motivation and maintaining a positive attitude to your exercise regime. There are both short term and long term health risks from over exercising.
Health risks from over exercise
The list of over exercise related health risks and body damage is pretty long. Muscle cramps and sores are on top of the short term damage. Indulging in over exercising could leave some serious health and body damage:
- Damage to tendons, ligaments, bones, cartilage
- Heart problems
- Sleep problems
- Appetite loss
- Sexual desire loss
- Irritability and depression
- Muscle destruction and muscle mass loss
Over exercise warning signs
If you are serious about gaining weight, building muscles and looking good, you need to avoid over exercising. The risks of doing too much too soon are too big. Here are a few warning signs to look for:
- Long lasting muscle cramps, sores, aches and pains
- Unable to complete your workouts
- Fatigue and headaches
- Can’t sleep
- Lack of motivation
Tips on avoiding over exercise
An hour a day is what doctors recommend as a healthy amount of exercise. If you are exercising more than that every day, you may be over exercising.
- Do fewer repetitions with lighter weights
- Increase the recovery time
- Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated
- Give your body the fuel it needs – protein, carbohydrates and good fats
- Listen to your body – if you are too tired and don’t have the energy to work out, then don’t!
There are plenty of articles and experts who encourage hard training. That’s good advice for professional athletes and those who train for an event but you should know and respect your limits. Workout regularly, keep hydrated, eat right, allow plenty of time for recovery and don’t over exercise.
- Picture credit: Abdel Abdelkader