Too Much of a Good Thing
Did you know you can overdose on just about anything – even on things that are intended to benefit you? Of course you can overdose on medicines & drugs. You can also overdose on exercise! Yes, I said exercise! Exercise possesses the traits of many powerful medicines, but even working out has its upper-limits. When your workouts have gone past your body’s limitations, muscle trauma and cardiovascular stress may have adverse effects. So it is not always wise to hit your body with more miles when it’s already over stressed from work or exercise.
Research on endurance training shows by increasing cardio stress, it causes temporary cardiovascular changes that return to normal in a week. Research also suggests that training for months and years, without proper rest can cause repetitive injury and lead to thickening of the heart – in other words, not healthy. A study of otherwise healthy marathon runners showed they developed slightly higher signs of coronary heart disease than compared to a controlled group after a two-year follow up.
So what is the suggested amount of time you should spend on exercise per day? For me personally I had to ask the following questions: What caused my back pain, what caused me to have injuries from running, and why did I have pain when I put my socks on, standing on one leg? The answers to these questions helped me come to 3 clear solutions: 1. Commit to less exercise while improving my workouts 2. Become better aware of my foods and hydration 3. Sleep better.
I used to go out for long runs without a warm-up, my healthy nutrition was sporadic, I did not drink enough water, and I did random workouts that I thought were cool in an attempt to build more muscle. So what changed the past 3-4 years? In order to overcome nagging pains and get results I refocused my training to something short, simple, and safe. I added more 30-minute sessions into my training, which gave me more time for recovery. All of this will become even more important now that we are expecting a new addition to our household in September.
So whatever your training goal: fat loss, sports, better relationships, look good naked, reduce pain, or to control your cholesterol and blood pressure; be honest to your body and listen to it. Your body is an amazing healer if you let it. Commit to being better rather than overcommitting. No fancy diets and YouTube exercises. Keep workouts short and simple, drink water, eat well, and sleep. It really works!