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Too Much Exercise

Exercise is beneficial but if you overdo it and exercise too much, your body will suffer.

Key signs of exercising too much include

  • making exercise a priority over personal relationships
  • feeling "withdrawal symptoms" such as irritability when unable to exercise
  • feeling guilty or depressed when you don't exercise
  • feeling like your job or relationships get in the way of exercise
  • missing school, college or work to exercise
  • exercising regardless of injuries, tiredness or illness
  • ignoring the concerns of your friends and family about your attitude to exercise.

Some of the most common risks of exercising too much are listed below.

  • Immune Dysfunction
    • Excessive exercise without adequate recovery stresses the body, decreasing immune function and increasing the chance of respiratory infection.
  • Reproductive Health Problems
    • Women who's body-fat level falls below 13 to 17 percent can stop menstruating, a condition called amenorrhea.
    • When a woman is experiencing amenorrhea, she is infertile.
    • Amenorrhea caused by excessive exercise is reversible when body-fat returns to normal. Normal levels are usually above 20 percent.
  • Mood and Cognition Problems
    • People who exercise too much can suffer from withdrawal symptoms including sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, confusion, and difficulty concentrating when they miss a day of exercise.
  • Bone Health
    • Both male and females who exercise too much are at a higher risk for developing osteoporosis and stress fractures.
    • Women can suffer irreversible bone loss if they are not menstruating.
  • Soft Tissues Injuries
    • Avoiding rest or treatment for injuries can result in chronic damage to connective tissue.
    • People who exercise too much also experience muscle soreness when they do not exercise.
    • Instead of building muscle, too much exercise can destroy muscle mass, especially if the body is not getting enough nutrition, forcing it to break down muscle for energy.

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