Health | Are you exercising too much?

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Once you are hit by the fitness bug, it can easily consume your days. But are you at risk at putting your body in danger of over exercising?

As you struggle to get past that 5k mark, it is impossible to envisage that anyone could possibly enjoy or endure too much exercise. But once you are hit with the fitness bug and continue to push harder in your routine, it can easily happen.

While it’s good to get some form of exercise into your daily routine – be it a tough routine or simple walk to the shop – it’s just as important to allow your body to recover, and recuperate following a tough workout.

When it becomes addictive, many of us do not realise that we are even over-exercising.

One sign that you are is a decreased performance in your workout. This is more apparent in endurance activities such as running, swimming and cycling.

A significant decrease in motivation or enjoyment of the activity is another sign of burnout. This is very common in soccer players as they push themselves so hard that it begins to dictate their life and they no longer enjoy the sport.

When we are emotionally stressed, our mood changes. The same happens when our body is overstressed physically. Anger, depression, anxiety and irritability are the most common signs you are over-working.

As mentioned, your body needs to recover after a tough workout. Persistent muscle soreness that lasts for days after a workout is a sign that you need more rest.

Disrupted sleep patterns is another side effect of being in a state of overload. Instead of getting that much needed rest, you become restless and cannot fall asleep.

A decrease in appetite can also occur in the later stages of overtraining, and can go hand-in-hand with feelings of fatigue and lack of motivation.

Exercise is good, but it’s just as important to listen to your body.