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How Much is too Much Exercise?

How Much is too Much Exercise? Side Effects & Dangers of Training

Even though exercise is supposed to be good for us, there are times when people go overboard and exercise too much. But how much is too much exercise? Does reducing the amount of training you do better or worse for your overall fitness? In this article, we discuss why too much exercise can have serious consequences on your health. And why over-exerting yourself can effectively destroy all the hard work you have put in.

How Much is too Much Exercise? What You Should know

First of all, when it comes to knowing how much exercise is too much, everyone is different. That means that one person may be able to handle 10 hours a week running, and the other only 3. Generally, things like background fitness, age, training schedule, muscle memory, recovery, time, and stress all play an important role in knowing how much you can train. Not planning your training correctly around those above factors often results in injury, fatigue, and lack of motivation.

However, for an adult, the CDC recommends around 5 hours of moderate exercise per week of 2 hours of more intense workouts. Most people typically fall into the medium by splitting their time between high-intensity and moderate training each week.

One study has shown that runners that train at a light to moderate level had a lower risk of death than people that don’t exercise. While this is not surprising, they did find people who ran at a high intensity three times a week or more had a similar risk of dying as the people that don’t train.

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So this just shows that running or exercising too much or too hard can harm your general health. That is also proven through athletes that compete in extreme endurance events such as ultra-marathons and Ironmans. It has been documented that extreme endurance activities might lead to heart problems, enlarged arteries, and/or heart rhythm disorders in some people. Remodeling the heart along the way by thickening the muscle’s walls and scarring tissue.

So bearing this in mind, how much is too much exercise. For most people, this sits around 3-5 hours of low to moderate exercise per week. This can be mixed between walking, cycling, running and other sports like football, tennis, etc. Most people will find that half of this is performed through daily activities, such as walking and more demanding house chores.

However, many of us push ourselves to improve in our chosen sport, whether this is cycling, running, triathlon, or another sport. That means that 3-5 hours a week of low to moderate exercise just won’t cut it. This is where you will need to periodize your training to allow for adequate recovery and periods of rest throughout the season.

If done right as a male you will find that the correct recovery cycle will help prevent a reduced libido, lower testosterone level, and general physical fatigue. Then if the right amount of training is paired with the correct amount of recovery for females, they are less likely to lose their menstruation and develop osteoporosis or bone mineral loss.

If you are unsure about how much training is enough, look for a qualified endurance coach that can help periodize your training correctly.

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Too Much Exercise Symptoms

Too Much Exercise Symptoms

So if you have been exercising too much, what symptoms would you expect to see?

Exercise symptoms will differ between sports when it comes to injuries. However, if you are constantly over exercising you may start to experience symptoms such as:

– Fatigue
– Loss in motivation
– Reduced testosterone levels
– Tiredness
– Depression
– Mood Swings
– Sore muscles
– Constant overuse injuries.
– Decreased libido

These are general symptoms you may experience when exercising too much. Unfortunately, if you continue on this pathway, you may start to develop more serious symptoms like:

– Chronic Fatigue
– Stress fractures
– Loss of menstruation
– Osteoporosis
– Bone mineral loss
– Heart problems
– Enlarged arteries

These are just some of the symptoms and problems that could happen if you continue to push the body past its limit.

However for most people, if they are training too much each week they will generally see their fitness and form plateau. Then in the coming months start to see a reduction in fitness rather than an improvement.

To prevent any of the symptoms above make sure your nutrition is on point and you provide adequate fuel both during and after training. Allow adequate rest and recovery between, during, and after training. And include enough sleep each night. When all these things are in place correctly, you are less likely to suffer from training too much.

Working Out Too Much Side Effects & Dangers

Working Out Too Much Side Effects & Dangers

As we have discussed, there are many side effects and dangers to working out too much. However, most people never reach the level of the serious side effects and dangers that generally put their health at serious risk. This is more common within elite and professional athletes as they are able to push their bodies to the limit over and over. The danger of this is that the athlete may experience long-term side effects in their heart and body for years to come.

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If you are scared you are training too hard or too much SportCoaching can help structure your training correctly. Giving you the right amount of recovery, training stimulus and layout to help you constantly improve. Whether it’s running, cycling, mountain biking, or triathlon. We coach athletes in 7 different countries across a range of sports for the past 15 years.

So get in touch and one of our coaches will provide a free 60-minute consultation. Alternatively, pick one of our training plans that are customized up to your event or towards a goal.