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Why You Should Not Over Exercise and Top 5 Tips To Avoid It

December 21st, 2009 · 3 Comments ·


I have a friend who goes to the gym twice a day, an hour each session. The first session is either running on treadmill or cycling on stationary bike. The second session on his late day will be spent joining fitness dance classes. Instead of being impressed by her exuberant enthusiasm for exercising, I think it may be too much for his body. In this post, we will find out:

  • The effect of over exercising on health
  • The reason people doing that
  • Tips to avoid overtraining

The Effect Of Over Exercising On Health

  • The most common problem with over-exercising is injury to muscles. The idea of regular exercise is to appropriately stress the muscle during exercise. This stress places small tears in the muscle, which upon repair, the muscle grows in size and strength. However, if the muscle is over-exercised and not given enough time to recover, it will be “damaged”. Instead of building the muscles, progress will be stagnant.
  • Also, if you run, cycle or jog too much, you may hurt your joints too. Common areas of injury include knees, ankles, and elbows. Worse, without proper treatment, it may lead to a lifetime of recurring injuries
  • Furthermore, not only the muscles, overtraining may break down our immune system, leading to colds, flu and other ailments.

The Reason People Over Exercise

  • Beginner, who just started a new exercise program, tend to overdoing it. People who just join a new gym tend to do that too. I have a friend who went to gym for the consecutive 10 days after he signed up the membership. Sad thing is, after that, he only goes to gym once a month nowadays. Having a newly found passion to work out is a good thing, but if it is done too much, it may affect the momentum of keep going.
  • Over exercising may be a symptom of depression or other mental illness. Just like eating disorder, it can be caused by poor body image. A girl may exercise too much too long trying to slim down to her target weight. Worse, if she pushes herself hard every time, she can emotionally become obsessed about it, and if she does not reach her goals, she will end up feeling bad about herself.


Top 5 Tips To Overtrain

  1. Working Out Different Muscle Groups
    What I do now is to cut down number of times I am training. Concentrate on a different body part every time. By doing so, not only I give my trained muscle groups a break, split workout gives me a stronger body overall.

    • Group 1 – Chest and biceps
    • Group 2 – Legs and lower back
    • Group 3 – Back and triceps
    • Group 4 – Shoulders and forearms
  2. Progress Slowly
    • Using running as an example, if you want to run, before you even do so, you need to understand how your current body doing. If you are overweight, you may want to walk briskly for few days before start to jog. Jog for two miles day and build up gradually. Increase your mileage not more than 10% a week. Once you can jog well with basic fitness level, then only you should consider running.
  3. Get Enough Rest and Sleep
    • Sleep for eight hours. Our muscles require good rest for adequate recovery between workouts, and to facilitate strength and size gains. Muscles grow during periods of deep sleep (when our growth hormone is optimally released).
    • Good exercise should let you sleep well. If the next day, you feel too tire to even start, you may need to relook at your training program.handsome-hunk-sleeping.JPG
  4. Eat Enough
    • If you know you are undergoing intensive training, you need to eat enough, I mean, nutritious foods, not fast food or junk food. Go for the so called complex carbohydrates that provide the energy for hard workouts (such as fruits, vegetables, pasta, rice, potatoes and wholemeal bread) and protein (such as eggs, meat, fish, cheese, yogurt, nuts, and beans).
    • You may want to try pre-workout meal of carbohydrates and protein, while a post-workout protein shake may be helpful too.
  5. Go Get a Life
    • Never deny weight lifting is good, but only when it is not overdone. Too many bicep curls, bench presses, squats, crunches and spending too much time looking at your naked body in front of the mirror can screw up your social life. Go do something else to have a more balanced social life.


Last Words
In a nutshell, though it is great to exercise that gets your body in shape, it is not healthy to push yourself too hard all the time. What matters the most is how often you exercise. No point to exercise for 5 hours in a single session when you only do so once a month. Everything we do, keeping the balance is important.

Having mentioned all the bad things about overexercising and tips to prevent the injury, I need to stress that the above tips only meant for people who are too aggressive or competitive. For the rest of people, I do not want them to take it as an excuse to continue exercising half-heartedly. I certainly do not want slack gym goers to cut their already partial intensity workout by another half.

What say you?



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Category: Health

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3 responses so far ↓
  • Tomgreenwald // Dec 25, 2009 at 6:35 PM

    5. Go get a life – that’s true :D

  • KevL // Dec 28, 2009 at 10:36 PM

    To some, working out is life.

  • Yin Teing // Dec 29, 2009 at 1:52 PM

    It’s very true- but sometimes, there are those who want to maximise the gym membership that they pay for- that they go to gyms twice a day. After a while, it gets harder to lose weight at that kind of intensity- especially if the person constantly overeat and then try to exercise later to burn the calories.
    And what you said about overexercisers and emotional problem is true- I have a friend who exercised like a fanatic at the gym- like she was punishing herself or trying to exorcise something.

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