Exercise is a great way to maintain a healthy weight, improve your cardiovascular health and even ward off depression. But, like most things, it IS possible to overdo it. Getting too much exercise can have serious consequences on your body and your brain. If you have ever wondered, can you exercise too much? The answer is yes. Overexercising can get in the way of your fitness goals, doing more harm than good to your body.
So, how much exercise is too much? Well, it depends on factors like your age, health and choice of workouts. Saying that, in general, adults should get about 5 hours a week of moderate exercise or 2 and a half hours or more of intense activity. Research shows that going above and beyond doesn’t necessarily increase your health benefits.
Overtraining is different to overreaching and it important to be aware of the difference. For instance, if you take a week off because of excessive soreness, that is not overtraining. Overtraining is not something that happens overnight. It happens by training excessively over a sustained period, leading to weeks and sometimes months of recover which may be detrimental, if you are a professional athlete.
Common signs of over-exercising
You've hit a plateau
This is commonly seen in those who experience overtraining. Plateaus are commonly seen, because your body isn't adequately recovering between sessions. if your muscles are constantly breaking down and never getting the opportunity to repair, you're going to hit a plateau and, in some cases, you may lose some of your hard-earned strength.
Exercising too much without resting enough in between can lead to high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. This is often associated with loss of muscle tissue, weight gain, and excess belly fat.
Prolonged Muscle Soreness
No doubt, muscle soreness that lasts a day or two after a hard workout is normal. However, prolonged muscle soreness that doesn’t go away after a few days is a sign your body isn't properly recovering or repairing the damage.
Lack of sleep
Overtraining can lead to insomnia, disrupted sleep, or just less restful sleep. Sleep is when you produce the hormones that facilitate muscle building and recovery so this can be debilitating especially if you are an athlete.
Dangers of Overexercising
Overtraining can be dangerous when it results in Rhabdomyolysis. Though uncommon, it is now becoming more prevalent due to the growing popularity of extreme forms of exercise without proper recovery measures. The symptoms of rhabdo include extreme soreness that will not go away, unexplained bruising, extreme fatigue, nausea, and fever. If you have rhabdo, you must seek immediate medical attention as the breakdown of the muscle tissue could lead to kidney damage.
Importance of Muscle Recovery
So why is muscle recovery important? When you work out, you're breaking down your muscle fibers. Usually, this is a good thing because when the body repairs and rebuilds them, you're stronger than you were before. But for the repair process to happen you need adequate sleep, nutrition, rest, and recovery! Failure to provide your body with those essentials, and your body will not get stronger. If you continuously get in the way of your body rebuilding itself from the damage of the previous workouts, you take your body to a place of chronic stress. Thereby undoing all the hard work you put into your workouts in the first place.
How to Recover After Exercising
Without proper muscle recovery after workouts, you’ll find yourself heading down the path to overtraining and possibly rhabdomyolysis. Here, we will discuss a few ways on how to recover from over exercising.
The damage you do inside the gym is repaired during healthy sleep. So, how long should you rest after a workout? Experts agree that you should aim to get between seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Some serious athletes such as bodybuilders or powerlifters get ten hours of sleep every night.
The results you see in the mirror are made in the kitchen. Nutrition makes up 70% of your results. If you’re currently eating a poor diet, it’ll be time to start making small changes to healthier options. Remember, you can’t out-train a bad diet.
SPRYNG’s Active Compression
SPRYNG’s active compression device helps to combat discomfort by aiding in blood circulation. This not only feels great but speeds up recovery. Clinical studies conducted to evaluate the performance of the product within athletes has shown that athletes this device were able to maintain consistent performance throughout workouts compared to athletes using static socks as a recovery method.
Read more about our science behind SPRYNG here