Has the lockdowns and quarantines or stay-at-home orders made you so restless that you simply cannot get enough of moving around or working out? Are you jogging a lot? Do your joints hurt? Don’t brush it off as a sign that you’re just out of shape and need to push through. It could be a sign that you need to slow down.
While regular exercise is important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, there is such a thing as working out too much. How do you know if you’re working out too much, and how much exercise is healthy?
Adults should get at least two and a half hours of medium intensity or a little more than an hour of high-intensity exercise every week. Additionally, weight strengthening workouts twice a week along with being as physically active as possible is recommended. A good guide to moderating exercise is to get moving every day but not overdoing it.
Following are a few tell-tale signs that you need to step back and take it a little slower:
- Are you feeling overtired?
- Are you having mood swings or irritability?
- Are you having trouble sleeping?
- Have you experienced overuse injuries?
- Is your heart rate consistently elevated?
While it may be normal to feel slightly fatigued after a strenuous workout, it’s not normal to continue to feel overly tired. Excess exercise can change the chemical makeup in our brains. While there is such a thing as a Runner’s High that feels good, mood swings or irritability could also be a sign that you’re pushing your body beyond what it is capable of. Likewise, the right amount of movements and exercise should make sleeping more peaceful not cause insomnia.
Listen to your body. If you feel like you’re overdoing a workout, don’t try to keep going ignoring the pain. Slow down before the pain leads to an injury. It’s better to take each step slowly and cautiously than to become injured to a point where you can no longer workout.
Joint pain, muscle pain, or other discomforts that don’t go away as you continue to workout could be a concern to pay attention to. Likewise, it could be even more serious. If your heart rate runs high and has trouble coming back down to a normal, resting rate, it could lead to serious damage if you keep pushing through instead of stopping to give your body time to rest before moving on. Some women even skip a monthly cycle or begin to have irregular menstruation.
Getting the proper amount of exercise is not an all or nothing thing. There is no need to feel like you need to jump in and run a marathon the first day to impress friends. After all, those who run marathons tend to start slow and steady until they have reached their monumental goal.