Overexercise: Too Much of a Good Thing

Overexercising is a common problem that can affect anyone, whether you seldom exercise or are a competitive athlete. The impact of overexercising is more significant than a temporary muscle ache. The damage to your body can affect your overall health and lead to a decline in your athletic performance.

Many patients who come to our Space City Pain Specialists offices in Webster and Baytown, Texas, suffer from injuries caused by overexercising. While we have the expertise to alleviate your pain and develop a recovery plan, we’d rather help you prevent the problem in the first place.

Here’s what you need to know about overexercising, how it develops, and the harm it can do to your body.

What is overexercising?

While you need to push yourself through rigorous training to build muscles and gain athletic skills, it is possible to push yourself too much. And if you overexercise, you can quickly reach a point where your training does more harm than good.

You may experience the downside of exercising if you:

Failing to take time to recover

When you exercise, your muscles naturally develop tiny tears. Repairing that damage is part of the process that ultimately builds stronger muscles. But muscle repair takes time and requires rest.

If you don’t take time to rest and recover between your exercise or training sessions, the microtears in your muscles can get progressively worse. Ultimately, you can develop a serious overuse injury.

Suddenly boosting your exercise sessions

Any time you suddenly or dramatically increase the time you spend exercising or the intensity of your training, you’re at risk for overexercising. The extra stress can push your muscles too far, quickly accelerating the potential damage.

Neglecting to refuel adequately 

As you exercise, your muscles deplete your body’s glycogen stores. Additionally, protein that normally builds muscle breaks down during intense activities.

You need to restore these nutrients to ensure your muscles can recover and strengthen. Without sufficient refueling, and especially if you chronically fail to refuel, your muscles can break down and lead to serious health problems.

Health dangers of overexercising

Overexercising can certainly cause aches and pains in your soft tissues and joints, but it can also have a broader impact on your body. The stress from overexercising can suppress your immune system and boost inflammation throughout your body.

If you continue to overexercise or overtrain without stopping to give your body the support it needs, you may develop neurological, mechanical, and hormonal imbalances. The most common signs of overexercise include:

At its most severe, overtraining can lead to exhaustion, with your body failing to produce vital hormones and the complete loss of physical and mental energy.

It’s important to deal with overexercise as soon as you recognize early signs, such as fatigue and muscle soreness. At an early stage, recovering from the problem is easy and only takes up to a few weeks. By comparison, your recovery from overtraining can take many months if you keep pushing through until you reach a severe stage of exhaustion.

Steps to help prevent overexercising

Optimal exercise regimens differ depending on each person’s overall health and training. That’s why we work with each individual to develop a training program that reaches their goals without overexercising. However, there are a few general steps you can take to help prevent overexercising:

Whether you need to get relief from joint and muscle pain, or you’d like guidance on developing a training regimen, we’re here to help you. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Space City Pain Specialists today.

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