Excessive exercise, also known as 'over-training', negatively affects one's physical and emotional well-being. In fact, rigorous training programs can hamper athletic performance, increase the risk of injury during exercise, and suppress the immune system. Exercise becomes excessive when the intensity, duration or frequency of your workouts are mixed with inadequate rest and recovery between workouts.
Here are a few side effects of excessive exercise.
Hormonal Changes: Over-training effects hormone secretion. Athletes who habitually perform hours of cardio each day, may experience increased secretion of Cortisol - a hormone associated with stress and weight gain. Additionally, over-training can also affect the appetite, by increasing the secretion of two hormones known as 'Epinephrine' and 'Norepinephrine'. Deficient caloric intake during difficult training programs, can reduce the recovery rate and intensify over-training symptoms.
Immune System Changes: Too much exercise can affect the Immune System. As the body struggles with exhaustion and poor muscle recovery, energy stored for proper Immune System function redirects to repair overworked muscles and bones. Recurring illness during workouts is an indication of lack of rest, and possible over-training. Additionally, training while you are sick can increase the recovery time. Taking a few days off from exercise can be beneficial.
Heart Rate Changes: A higher 'resting Heart rate' indicates over-training. For example, sustaining a resting Heart rate of 80 beats/minute when your usual resting Heart rate equals 65 beats/minute, represents raised resting heart rate. In addition, exercising too much can increase the time it takes for the Heart rate to return to a resting rate after a session of exercise. Therefore, it is very important for one to record the resting heart rate, periodically through the day, and take note if the resting heart rate increases.
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