You’ve made the commitment. No more baggy t-shirts and sweat pants as your go-to outfit. Instead, you’re going to work out every single day until you get the body you’ve always dreamed of. However, those new to exercise may have the misconception that spending hours in the gym leads to an amazing body. Although exercise is an important component of weight loss, overworking the body is going to undermine your fitness goals.
Huge Muscles? Not So Much
Woke up sore and achy after a huge workout? This does not mean you need to head back into the gym right away. Working out your sore muscles is not going to increase muscle gain. Instead, you’re likely to get hurt and all your hard work will be for nothing. Overworking the body depletes your body’s nutrients and muscle mass may be broken down. You need a minimum of one day between workouts for rest and recovery. During this time, muscle fibers are repaired and new muscle growth is stimulated.
Concerns About Compulsive Exercise
Not only does working out too much mess with your body, but your head as well. Compulsive exercise occurs when you are obsessed about fitness. Sickness and family obligations don’t deter you from your workouts. If you do miss a workout, you feel guilty and anxious. You may workout several hours a day every single day and still feel you’re not exercising enough. Besides exhausting your body with compulsive exercise, you’re letting obsessive behaviors overtake your life.
Ladies especially need to be careful about the intensity of their workouts. Hormone imbalances are a common occurrence for women who follow a strict diet and participate in hardcore exercise sessions. You could end up with missed periods and problems getting pregnant. Your doctor may tell you to increase your body fat percentage by adding more calories to your diet and decreasing the time or intensity of your workouts.
Questions to Ask Yourself
How do you know you are overworking your body? Take a close look at your exercise program and see if it’s healthy and meets fitness standards. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily for healthy adults. This could equal a game of basketball, a couple of mile run, break dancing with friends or a capoeira class. You should be concerned if you’re not enjoying your workout sessions. Exercise should be fun and should not involve hours running on the treadmill to get fit.
How to Stop
Tired of feeling sore and exhausted? Scale back and take the time to relax. For instance, instead of working out an extra 20 minutes, hang in the sauna. Feel tired in the middle of your run? Put on your favorite beats and slow your pace to a brisk walk. If you feel sick over the thought of not exercising to the point of exhaustion, seek out professional help.
Don’t let infomercials fool you into thinking hardcore workouts are the way to go. Getting fit needs to be something you enjoy if you want to stick with an exercise program. Focus on fun calorie-burning activities and you’ll have the best body on the block.