Exercise is necessary to ensure that your body and mind are healthy. It increases blood circulation, boosting the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to every important organ. It helps maintain a normal weight. Moreover, it improves mood, concentration, and alertness as well as reduces the risk of mental illness.
Exercise, therefore, is good but, like most things, too much of it can become a problem.
There are consequences of copious amounts of physical activity. Overexertion may lead to adverse health conditions, including the ones mentioned below.
An Increased Risk of Injury
Exercise can lead to injury, but when you do it too much, the risk of getting hurt increases.
The body needs time to rest between workouts. When you pause, your body starts repairing and maintaining the muscles and bones. So, if you exercise too much, your body does not get the opportunity to recover. Your muscles and bones will continue to be utilized, leading to strains and fractures.
If you are running too much, for example, you may begin to experience pain in your knees, legs and thighs, ankles and heels, and or even your toes. A podiatrist will be able to treat common injuries, including fractures and sprains, that affect the lower legs and feet. Runners may also deal with bunions, a condition in which the joint of the big toe grows larger or gets nudged out of place, and nail disorders caused by either a fungus or an ingrown nail.
If you are a weightlifter, on the other hand, you may experience shoulder and back injuries. To alleviate, you would need to see a chiropractor or a physical therapist correct the problem. In some severe cases, injuries from weightlifting require surgery to correct.
How Exercise Can Disrupt Sleep
Sleep plays a very important role in recovery after exercise. When you sleep, your body gets to work repairing anything damaged during the day and preparing you for all the challenges you face for the next day.
Sleep, therefore, is important when you have overexerted your body to the maximum but you might not get a single wink of an eye in the evening. Insomnia is one of the most common symptoms of overtraining. The more you push your body to its limits, the worse the quality of sleep you will get.
Fortunately, the problem is not permanent. As soon as you decrease the amount of physical you get per day, you will be able to sleep normally again every night.
Your Body Will Be in Constant Stress
Exercise is known to reduce stress by lowering the levels of cortisol and adrenaline in the body. A good workout also triggers the release of dopamine in certain regions of the brain. These processes pick your mood up, making you a lot happier and relaxed after physical activity.
However, when you exercise too much, your hormones go out of whack. Instead of calm, your body will always be under stress because your levels of cortisol and adrenaline will remain high to keep giving you the energy you need. Over time, this will lead to adrenal insufficiency, the condition in which the body is unable to regulate and produce hormones. It may also result in insulin resistance and high amounts of glucose in the blood.
Women, in addition, will have irregular menstrual cycles which are also controlled by certain hormones in the body.
Compromising the Immune System
Exercising too much will not make your immune system bulletproof. In contrast, studies have shown that overtraining can weaken the body’s defenses against viruses and bacteria.
A 2017 paper revealed that, after an intense physical activity, the body goes through a short window of immunodepression. During this time, your body is more prone to infections.
Giving yourself time to rest will allow your immune system to bounce back. However, when you exercise too much, the immune system could not recover. The brief period of immunodepression widens and expands, allowing disease-causing pathogens to enter your body and cause an infection.
So, in addition to eating a balanced diet, resting is important to boost the immune system. Sleeping seven to nine hours every night is even more effective in ensuring that the immune system is functioning efficiently, fighting illnesses and keeping the body healthy.
While exercise is great, there is such a thing as too much. The recommended amount of physical activity varies from person to person, but experts suggest that 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week is a healthy amount for most people.