Can Excessive Exercise Be Harmful to the Body?


Most physicians agree with The American Council on Exercise recommendation that getting at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week is beneficial to your health, both physical and mental. However, there are times when too much exercise can actually hinder your weight-loss efforts, cause debilitating injuries and result in long-term health issues. According to ACE, the intensity or the actual duration of the routine is not as important as the commitment to some type of physical activity on a regular basis .


  • Most health specialists recommend a moderate 30-minute workout per day, at least five days a week. Exercising in moderation means participating in an activity that raises your heart rate and gets your blood pumping -- but not to exhaustion. The minimum recommended 30 minutes a day helps you to maintain a healthy body weight, maintains lean muscle mass, effectively assists with joint swelling from arthritis, lowers your stress levels, aids in better sleep patterns at night, and helps your lungs and heart function more efficiently.


  • While a co-worker may be able to work out five days a week before work comfortably, that doesn't mean that you should, too. Your body needs sufficient time to adjust to the increased demands of strenuous physical activity. Demanding daily exercise without adequate recovery can actually hinder your weight-loss efforts and, in some cases, lead to injuries. Overtraining not only affects your exercise performance, it can also affect your overall physical and emotional health.

Signs of Excessive Training

  • When starting a fitness regimen, it is crucial to gradually increase your training in order to give your body the proper time to adapt and recuperate. It is not wise to attempt to run a 10-mile race if you have never jogged before, for example. The best way to increase your fitness level is to slowly increase your rate of activity over time, allowing a day or two of rest per week. If your exercise routine is actually interfering with your health and not benefiting you, you might be overtraining. Learn to recognize the physical and emotional signs of overtraining: changes in mood, reduced self-esteem, prolonged recovery, decreased physical performance, headaches, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, weakened immune system, physical injuries and increased blood pressure.

Healthy Physical Activity

  • Not all workouts are designed the same, so it is imperative to find an activity that you can do daily without hours of strenuous exercise. Traditional activities include bicycling or jogging, but any activity that gets your heart pumping and blood flowing is sufficient. You can try 30 minutes of gardening, dancing around the house, softball or even just a few laps around the pool. The American Council on Exercise also suggests that exercise can be broken down into 10-minute increments throughout the day. Find an activity that you enjoy to get started, and before you begin, get medical clearance from your physician.

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