Working out can very quickly become addictive – blame it on the endorphins or the visible results. However, one must always remember that exercise is deliberate exertion and a lot of us can no longer identify when we are over exerting ourselves.
As with everything, there is a safe upper limit to working out, beyond which you are actually over-stretching yourself.
In milder cases of physical overstretching, your biggest telltale sign is fatigue. This could manifest in several ways – heaviness and exhaustion, trouble sleeping, oversleeping, persistent soreness and so on. This fatigue should act as your first cause for alarm. At this stage, you do not need to do much to regain your health.
At this stage, your physical exertion is actively lowering your immunity and making you unhealthy. This is more likely to happen to people who train heavily in endurance. Due to a high presence of cortisol in the bloodstream – a steroid hormone released when we exercise – there is higher break down of the bone tissue.
Over time, with highly strenuous activity, your muscles too will begin to show signs of damage.
This brings me to the grave stage. There is a small bunch of people that fall into a ‘compulsive exercise’ category who are usually also users of supplements such as steroids. On the outside, they may look highly toned, but their bodies are being completely sapped through excessive exercise.
Exercising 4-5 times a week is incredible for your health and happiness. But like all the other things that are good for you, moderation should apply to exercise as well. Let us remember that exercise and rest need to go hand in hand. We must return to true fitness – a combination of a healthy diet, balanced exercise, and a happy mind.