Are You Overdoing Your Workouts?

November 13, 2012

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workoutDid you know that it’s possible to work out too hard?

The truth is you can burn fat and calories, increase your cardiovascular health, build muscle, increase your lifespan, and drastically cut your risk of many serious illnesses all while exercising at a pace where you can still comfortably carry on a conversation.

So if you have been pushing yourself to the limit at every workout – stop. Not only will working out become much more enjoyable, you will actually get more benefit out of your less punishing efforts.

So how do you know when your exercise routine is too much of a good thing?

First, if you have not been active in some time or have a serious health condition like heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure be sure to check in with a doctor before starting any new fitness program.

Then, gradually build up to an ideal level – that space between not enough and too much. If that means walking for just five minutes or even just down the hallway and back if you have very limited mobility – it’s a great start.

Doing too much, too fast won’t get you to where you want to be any quicker and will more likely lead to an injury that will set you back.

Likewise, exercising below your fitness level will not provide your body with enough of a challenge to make progress. Remember, your body was made to be in motion and you’ll be healthier and happier when it is!

So what is the “exercise sweet spot?” It’s that point where you feel challenged but not to the point of physical pain. Over time that point will increase as your fitness level increases, and when it does you can step the pace up so that your workout is again a challenge, but not an unreasonable one.

And finally, as I have said before, make sure whatever you do for exercise make sure you choose activities that you enjoy and look forward to, not ones you dread and find yourself coming up with every excuse you can to avoid it.

Dr. Michael Kaplan

Founder and Chief Medical Officer

The Center for Medical Weight Loss

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