Health + Wellness

Are You Working Out Too Much? Here’s How to Tell

December 29, 2016

Man on Spin Bike

Words by Kathy Iandoli

At times it seems inescapable. News segments, magazine articles, Instagram fitness posts. They all urge you to work out more. But here’s something you might not be aware of, there is in fact such a thing as working out too much. It’s an aspect of fitness that tends to go overlooked until an injury pops up, but understand that as much time as you take in the gym, there should be a considerable amount of time for rest. It’s beyond health, but also for your personal goals. Fitness doesn’t always necessitate extensive hours in the gym for a number of reasons, both mental and physical. Find out why excessive exercise is a no win situation.

Increased Muscle Fatigue And Soreness

Anyone who frequently exercises relishes in that day after soreness, reminding you that the previous day’s workout was successful. However, overtraining your muscles can actually weaken them, leaving room for injuries. It also delays the speediness of your recovery following your workouts, as there will be no repair and everything will continue to hurt. On top of all that, the constant pain will leave you less feeling refreshed and more aggravatingly sore.

You Can Actually Reverse Your Progress

Whoever told you gymming it hardbody everyday will get you straight to your fitness goals was telling you a bold faced lie. While the act of working out is a major piece of the fitness puzzle, so is resting. Your muscles need time to repair in order to grow. Constantly working them doesn’t allow that to happen; if anything it can stunt your progress. Listen to your body when it says time out. Even when it doesn’t say time out, take some time out.

Mood Swings Abound

Bad hair day
Overexercise produces stress on your body, which can inadvertently produce stress on your mind, thereby altering your mood. Get it? Additionally, your resting heart rate can elevate from excessive working out, which for many is anxiety-inducing. Check your resting heart rate if you think you might be working out too much and line it up alongside your normal resting heart rate. Is it raised? Well, there you go.

A Wrench In Your Social Life

It might sound silly, but clocking in excessive hours at the gym doesn’t mean your body will get any more fit. In fact, if you find yourself trading in time with friends or family for gym time, then that’s even more pointless. Make time for the gym, sure, but don’t excuse yourself from a social life in the name of constant fitness.

You May Start Hating Exercise

The burn out is real. Too much of something and you can grow tired of it, literally and physically, since you may ultimately be too exhausted to work out. While those who truly enjoy exercise can even find joy in the frequency, eventually the high wears off. Keep it going strong by not overdoing it. It’ll contribute to a longer relationship with fitness.