Monday, 30th October 2017

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Working out excessively can defeat the very purpose of exercising

Prosenjit Biswas, fitness manager at Skulpt gym in Calcutta, on the adverse affects of working out too much

By Prosenjit Biswas
  • Published 27.02.20, 5:41 PM
  • Updated 27.02.20, 5:41 PM
  • 2 mins read
Overtraining can decrease performance, often making us want to skip training altogether Baban Mukherjee

Exercising is a healthy practice that releases endorphins, or happy hormones, leading to improvements in our body type, the way we look, and our psychological well-being. However, when we exercise more than we should, our body gives us signals, often manifested in a feeling that is different from what we experience when we exercise in general. Over-exercising releases a hormone called cortisol, which facilitates fat gain, ultimately undoing the positive benefits of working out.

Overtraining can decrease performance, often making us want to skip training altogether. Exercising without rest or breaks strains muscles so much that the pain that arises affects not only your body but also your mood.

A healthy practice of working out regularly, in moderation, every day, causes your resting heart rate to go down. But overdoing workouts leads the resting heart rate to go up, making you more vulnerable to health hazards, and also leading to fatigue. Overworking your body can also result in insomnia.

Here are some examples of over-exercising and its effects:

  • Running 10km every day to practise for a marathon does not necessarily prepare all of us well for the marathon, but rather negatively affects our performance.
  • Similarly, 100 days of running might seem like an achievement, but it can slow down your progress and lead to extreme fatigue.
  • Strength training every day leaves our muscles tired, without time to recover and grow, especially if we work on the same muscle group (legs, or back and biceps, or chest and triceps).
  • Performing exercises in an uncontrolled and extreme manner can expose one to injuries, energy imbalance, and stress increase.
  • Exhaustion is yet another side effect of overworked muscles – in such a situation, the person cannot perform as required.
  • Overexercising is subjective for each person. However, the simplest way to know that the body is overworked is when the feeling of fatigue overtakes you.
  • Headache from fatigue is another common sign of an overworked body.
  • Below the age of 16, it is recommended not to perform any vigorous strength training, because at that age bodies are prone to experience harmful effects on the spine and negative effect on height development.
  • Someone with a knee problem should not be running on the treadmill for long.
  • For a regular person, 20-40 minutes at the gym daily is fine. For a more fit person, 60-90 minutes is a standard time. Athletes and extremely fit people usually train for about 100-120 minutes.
  • Someone who has recently joined the gym might find it over his capacity to perform 30 push-ups, and pushing him to do so early in training might lead to overexercising.

Model: Kushal Walecha
Location: Skulpt gym, Calcutta