If you’ve ever questioned the validity of the saying “too much of a good thing,” its accuracy might seem more clear when considering some signs you’re exercising too much. It’s likely that you’ve heard how awesome exercise is for your body. There really are so, so many excellent benefits associated with regular physical activity. However — surprisingly enough to some — there is a line between exercise being healthy for your body, and exercise being unhealthy for your body. Some of the effects of exercising too much simply aren’t worth it.
Let’s say you’re reading this article and you’re admittedly obsessed with working out, and/or you’re in the middle of training for a marathon or similar athletic competition. Of course, hitting the gym is a priority for you, and something you might not think you’d be willing to cut back on. After all, working out is good for you, so why would you tone it down? Keep this in mind: It is very possible that you’re doing some unexpected damage to your body by taking working out to a whole new level. There really is such thing as working out too much and too hard, as made evident by some of the things I uncovered below.
If you think you might possibly be exercising too much, consider some of the points discussed here, and then possibly try to reevaluate your fitness goals. Here are seven signs you might be taking your exercise habit a bit too far.
1. You’re Sick All The Time
If you’ve been exercising a great deal, you might notice you’ve been getting sick more often than usual. Why? When you’re exercising to the max, you actually break down your immune system. This means you’re not only more susceptible to getting sick, it might also take you long to recover, according to LIVESTRONG. So, while regular, moderate exercise is known to boost our immunity, beware of too much intense exercise, which can alternatively decrease immunity, according to AboutHealth.
2. You’re Having A Really Difficult Time Sleeping
There are many things that can prevent us from getting our necessary sleep at night, and one of them just so happens to be over-exercising. According to research out of Germany, when you push yourself too much physically, the stress these workouts put on your body can increase the level of stress hormones, like cortisol. When there is an elevated level of cortisol hormones in your body, it leaves you unable to sleep soundly, according to Prevention.
3. You’ve Become Bored With Your Workouts
This might be one of the easiest ways to tell you’ve been spending way too much time at the gym… it’s becoming boring! Yes, you’ve switched up your normal workouts over and over, but it seems nothing you do can bring back the “fun” aspect to working out. According to Jini Cicero, a Los Angeles-based conditioning specialist, a significant decrease in motivation or enjoyment can be a major sign of burnout.
4. You’re Extremely Fatigued
According to Shawn M. Talbott, nutritional biochemist and author of Natural Solutions for Pain-Free Living, feeling mentally or physically groggy is a sign of overtraining. Talbott said, “The knee-jerk reaction to sluggishness is to exercise for an energy boost, but it's a catch-22. Another workout might wake you up short-term, but you'll be worse off later on.”
6. You’re Far More Moody Than Usual
According to Cicero, those hormones that become elevated from physically overexerting yourself are the same stress hormones you release when you’re emotionally stressed. This means you might have feeling of depression, anger, confusion, anxiety and/or irritability.
7. Your Heart Is Beating Really Fast
If you feel like something isn’t right, you might be correct. Check your heart rate first thing in the morning to see if you’ve been exercising too much. According to John Gaglione, strength coach, fitness expert and, founder of Gaglione Strength, when you’re putting too much strain on your body, your resting heart rate will increase drastically.
While exercising and eating right is a great combination for our bodies, it’s important to remember to not overdo our workout routines as to not counteract the positive benefits. If you start to notice any of the above signs, give yourself a much-needed break from the gym.