The real consequences of over exercising

NMG Benefits
26 January 2023
5 min read

The rush to build that dream body after overindulging during festive season, can seem like an excellent motivator to get moving and implement changes to a healthy lifestyle. But lifestyle change is not about punishing yourself for historic bad habits. Overloading yourself off the starting block can have negative consequences.

We all know very well the cost of not exercising, but there is a cost to having too much of a good thing, exercise is a perfect example. It’s the start of the year, everyone takes part in the get fit and active mantra. However, for many, jumping in the deep end and overdoing it comes with a cost.

You decided this is your year, reclaim your health and fitness. After spending much of the last few years sedentary, you are in desperate need of the change. You have a plan in place already, jumping straight back into a fitness regime, based off your old varsity rugby days. You can make 6 times a week, twice a day regime work, after all you did it before, only a couple of years ago, what really is the difference? Then it happened, a few weeks into this intense regime, a rotator cuff injury after doing a shoulder press. “How did this happen? how long am I out before I can train properly again? I don’t want to lose all my motivation and momentum, I just started on my health kick”.

Does this sound like you or someone you know? We all know that fitness fanatic, who would train through injury, but how much good is it doing to you?

Signs your overdoing it in the gym

Some of the biggest reactions to over exercising is muscle pain and fatigue when working out, you also increase not only your risk to injury, but frequency of injury.

Prolonged muscle soreness – Now we all know that when you feel the burn after exercising, it’s an indicator of a good workout, but muscle soreness that lasts well beyond 3 days is possibly an indicator of inflammation and greater damage than just a good workout.

Fatigue – Constant tiredness, especially through workouts, your body isn’t recovering properly, opposite to the energy promoting effect of exercise.

Decreased Performance – Exercise is constructed where your strength and stamina increase gradually overtime. Noticing that you are going backwards, getting weaker and fatigued is a sure sign your overdoing it.

Change in appetite – With exercise, you start to naturally dial in your appetite, however if there is reduced appetite with no willingness to eat, or the opposite with wanting to overeat you possibly are over training.

Gaining fat – Too much exercise can cause weight gain, as you start breaking down muscle faster than you are building it, without doing much to change your bodies fat percentage.

Weaking immune system – Exercise aids in building immunity, however over exercising can make it harder for you to have as strong an immune response, leading to a higher frequency in colds and flu.

Depression – One of the biggest positives to exercise is that it boosts your mood, however the opposite is also true when over doing it. This can leave you feeling miserable and lazy, as your natural hormones aren’t able to regulate properly giving you that happy boost.

Injury – If you have started noticing a frequency to injury, that has nothing to do with bad form or stretching your capability, this could be why.

It becomes important to know how to listen to your body and hear what it tells you. Ask yourself some basic questions.

  • Are you exhausted and just want to lay down to rest, doing nothing?
  • What have your eating habits been like lately? Are you snacking a lot? Or struggling to eat?
  • Do you feel strong after exercise or not?
  • Do you feel a mood boost or quite the opposite? Are you irritable, snapping at the drop of a hat?
  • Do you feel any nagging or ongoing pains?

Your intense workout regime could be impacting you negatively. If the answers to some of the questions lead you to believe your overdoing it. You may need to take a moment, breath, pause, rest, reset and replan, then resume your regime in a smarter and milder manner so you don’t overdo it again.

Rest isn’t a swear word in an exercise regime, it is the time when the body is able to recover and build on all the hard work you are putting in the gym. While the mantra ‘no pain, no gain’ can be a motivator for some, it becomes dangerous when taken to the extreme.


chevron-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram