How Much Exercise is Too Much Exercise?
There are some people who you just always see in the gym — in the same spot + doing the same workout. Many people probably admire their dedication + discipline; it is impressive that they show up that consistently when a lot of us struggle to find the time or motivation to go even a couple of times a week. While this determination that such people have to a healthy lifestyle can start out as a really great thing, there is a limit. It may not be the same for everyone, but it is actually possible to over-exercise.
This fact may shock a lot of people. Exercising has so many benefits + is stressed as such an important part of our lives. But even great things can have their limits. Over-exercising can actually have effects on both physical + mental health:
- Becoming overly fatigued, which can prevent you from performing at the same level
- Slower recovery time for sore muscles + limbs
- Becoming injured more easily
- You can become irritable + moody
- You lose your motivation, yet feel stressed if you don’t get a workout in
The threshold for the appropriate amount of exercise really depends on the specific person. Your fitness, your goals, your medical history, + your body are all taken into consideration. So rather than focus on a specific number of hours of exercise in a week, it is important to pay attention to how you are feeling. Pay attention to signs that you are over-exercising, including those listed above, + do not push yourself over the limit. It is great to have the motivation, but don’t forget that rest ++ recovery is also important for your physical health.
Rest days are just as important as workout days, whether it’s active rest [aka recovery] or passive rest. A recovery day is a day where you take a break from your normal//high-intensity workouts, for something very low-impact + steady, whereas a rest day is a full passive rest day. It can also just mean a day of stretching. It is important on rest days that you continue to eat properly with protein-heavy meals. You should also be drinking a lot of water. Rest + recovery are important parts of your weekly routine ++ helps you get the rehabilitation you need after an intense couple of days of workouts. A rest//recovery day is also the perfect opportunity to take a mental health day for yourself!
So, next time you are just not feeling a workout, ask yourself if a rest or recovery day is what you need. You do not have to feel bad about taking a couple of days off, + it will make your next workout all the better!