The dangers of over-exercising and four ways to combat it
Many people may be over exercising without realizing it and this way damaging their body. Over-exercising can cause many severe complications later on. For instance men who use protein powders and steroids are vulnerable to a whole host of health problems if they overdo their work-out program. Women who exert themselves too much are at risk of developing osteoporosis (weakening of bones), particularly if they’re finicky about their calories too. They may have issues with their menstrual cycles and in some cases stop menstruating entirely.
People who over-exercise may have problems that impede walking later on in life since over exercising can cause stress fractures. Some may even need joint replacement surgery even at a young age because of too much wear and tear on the body’s muscle, joints and bones. Some people who over-exercise also restrict their calories in their efforts to increase muscle tone and mass. They may instead be losing both fat and muscle which can negatively impact their health overall.
You can almost get addicted to over-exercising. This is because exercise releases endorphins, which provides a sense of euphoria. It also lessens anxiety. Some people feel more in control or powerful when exercising. Given that we place so much importance on looking good, many find it difficult to even admit that they might be over-exercising.
So how can you exercise appropriately in a health manner?
- Confront your fears around not exercising. Get the help of a counselor if you feel obsessively compelled to exercise.
- Get help from a professional trainer. They will be able to recommend a good routine and also check to see that you don’t over exert yourself.
- Get involved in a body image group. Try to identify any limiting or negative beliefs regarding your body and it’s appearance and replace them with more positive beliefs.
- If you exercise to relieve anxiety or to feel in control, then use other methods to combat anxiety. Take up yoga or do breathing exercises.
A good way to get back to moderate amounts of exercise is to begin by toning down your exercise program if you feel you’ve been over-exercising. Start with mild forms of physical activity such as walking, until you get your weight back to normal. Slowly increase the amount of exercise until you are exercising every alternate day for about an hour each time. It’s best if you have a trainer to help you out in this effort until you are able to regain your sense of what normal levels of exercise feel like.