The positive effects of regular exercise are countless. Frequent physical exercise has been proven to increase moods, cut fat, burn calories, and even fight off disease. However, many people can find themselves exercising too much, which can have harmful, sometimes life threatening consequences. Many doctors will tell you to exercise bi-weekly or every other day, but people who over exercise – which can be clinically defined by a specialist as pathological – can find themselves exercising multiple times a day. There are a number of reasons why people might over-exercise, but it usually has to do with self-esteem issues, which stem from a lack of confidence over their personal, outward appearance. Too much physical activity can lead to your body releasing a chemical called cortisol, which can actually make your muscles break down – this can cause some serious health issues. Here are 5 harmful effects of excessive exercising.
- Over exercising can lead to a weakened immune system. Exhausting your body with excessive physical effort can break down your body’s ability to fight infection or kill bacteria, which can lead to possible colds and viruses.
- Also, due to over exercising, you can start to develop sleeping disorders. By over wiring the brain – by having too much movement – you can actually disrupt your body’s natural sleep rhythm. When your body is going through an overdose of physical activity, the brain kicks in to tell it to slow down. Our bodies need to go through long periods of inactivity to restore itself, and much of this recharging is done through sleep.
- Over exercising can also cause a condition called amenorrhea. Excessive exercising, and the bone loss and weight loss associated, can lead to the long durations without a regular menstrual cycle – sometimes total cessation.
- People in an eating disorder recovery center can attest to the fact that over exercising can lead to eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia. Compulsive exercising or exercise addiction is a recognized condition associated with many body image disorders. Compulsive exercisers might believe that the only way that they can stay thin and healthy is by constant physical activity – even though it is unhealthy and harmful to their bodies.
- And perhaps the most devastating effects from over exercising is the loss of muscle mass and the subsequent nutrient deficiency that follows. By over exercising you can put your body into shock by sapping it of the necessary nutrients. This is most harmful because it can lead to organ failure and possibly death.
Most people in the medical profession will recommend that you get regular exercise. However, there are numerous psychological conditions – mainly associated with body image disorders – that lead people to over exercise. Over exercising can have litany of harmful effects, like a weakened immune system, sleep and eating disorders, cessation of menstrual cycles, and even loss of muscle mass, which can lead to a nutrient deficient and possible organ failure. If you are compulsively exercising and feel like the effects are mostly negative, you should talk to your physician, or a specialist today.