Worried you may be sweating it TOO much when it comes to the exercise portion of your weight loss plan? Yes, there is such thing as too much exercise, and it can be harmful to your health. However, exercise addiction is an extreme form of over-exercising, and isn’t terribly common, even among professional athletes.
In fact, you can scale the exercise limits of professional athletes to your own lifestyle to determine at what point you’re exercising too much. Remember that even pro athletes usually take a day or two off of exercising per week, and they don’t spend all 16-18 waking hours training, either.
How to Define Over-Exercising
As a foundation, 30 minutes per day of moderate physical engagement keeps diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol at bay. For the average person, that’s plenty of exercise for health, even when following a weight loss program.
But not everyone is concerned only with internal health. Standards of physical attractiveness and the desire to lose unhealthy weight push us to conquer our physical limits and discover the joys of exercise.
Pushing the limits is good for you, too. But anything over an hour of intense exercise is likely too much. You may burn a few extra calories and keep your heart rate up for longer, but going past a full hour of intense workout makes it more difficult for your body to recover from that exercise, and you won’t experience any extra gains from going over your limit.
Exercise addiction occurs when over-exercise becomes a regular part of your life. Some of the health benefits of workouts, such as increased endorphin production and the release of cortisol, can occur too frequently and create a dependence.
The need to re-up on those chemicals can also lead to workout marathons that wear down muscle tissue, tendons, and skin, and cause exhaustion and injury. Once you pass the threshold, it’s difficult to move behind it.
Is There Treatment for Over-Exercise and Exercise Addiction?
Treatment for exercise addiction largely requires a change in psyche. If you believe you may be addicted to working out, start contemplating a few things:
- Am I compensating for a childhood trauma?
- Am I overwhelmed by societal standards of beauty?
- Is there anything besides exercise that defines me?
- Are there others in my family who suffer from addiction?
Identify the key area that has drawn you to compulsive activity. Then spend some time internalizing it and coming to terms with the addiction. Talk about your over-exercising habits with others and listen to their opinions.
Then start to redefine yourself. Try enjoying more restful activities or foods that contribute to a healthy lifestyle but don’t require your body to produce extra chemicals. You can even spend time outdoors by taking up hiking or strolling through the park.
If you’re looking for a way to coordinate your weight loss efforts without exercising too much, learn more about Diet Doc’s medical weight loss programs. Our weight loss specialists walk you through all parts of the process, from nutrition to supplements to exercise, to help you reach your goals quickly and safely.
In conclusion, remember that trying to recover from over-exercising is not an invitation to abandon your health. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to revamp your lifestyle, look into healthier ways to lose weight, and extend the potential of your extra time.