Too much exercise

Is there such a thing as too much exercise? The answer to that is yes, there is such a thing as too much exercise. Do you only feel good when you exercise and do you have that feel-good factor when you think about and take part in exercise? If you do, you may have an exercise addiction.

For some of us, exercise is something we probably don’t do enough of, but there is a small minority of us that are compulsive exercisers, even if we’re not aware. Thirty minutes of moderate daily exercise is enough to prevent high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure.

It is hard to believe that as many as 10% of high-performance runners and possibly an equal number of body builders have an exercise addiction. Exercise addicts equate that a two-hour run will make them four times as healthy, but that isn’t the case. From what I know about exercise, too much exercise instead of making the bones strong, may deplete bone density, which can cause Osteoporosis further down the line.

The reality is that too much exercise not only leads to exhaustion and depression, but lasting physical harm too. Extreme exercisers outside of their exercise routine have an extreme need for control and that will cross into other areas of their lives. Those of us who aren’t exercise dependent will use exercise around our lives, whereas dependents will organise their lives around their exercise and will feel bad when they can’t or don’t manage it.

An addiction definition is the repetition of behaviour past the point where it becomes self-injurious. In exercise terms, it means refusing to limit or stop exercising when an injury in sustained. When it comes to doing too much exercise, we must first recognise we have a problem, then once we see that we do, we will recognise our need for change.


13 Aug, 2015

6 thoughts on “Too much exercise

  1. I agree there is such a thing as to much exercise, for a whole raft of reasons including both psychological and physical. It is quite alarming that you can become addicted to the point of ignoring injury and other harm.

    We all know that exercise is so important as part of a healthy lifestyle and you have usefully highlighted the importance of exercising correctly; to ensure we only achieve benefits without all the adverse effects.

    1. Thank you. Yes it’s hard to imagine how anyone would go to those lengths, but it’s happening now more than it did when I was growing up.

      I think lifestyle has a lot to do with it, but because exercise gives us that feel good factor, we crave and want more and in our stressful lives that is exactly what we turn to.

      Like many other things we have come to rely on, exercise is addictive.

  2. This blog is timely, because I just started working out but I’m not sure how much exercise is too much or too little. It’s great to know that thirty minuets of exercise is long enough for an old soldier like me.

    1. Thanks Tim. Yes it’s so important to know what’s right when it comes to exercise. I think too many of us over-exercise. I’m pleased my blog has been helpful.

  3. Exercise is very essential for a healthy life, but in moderation.

    I think in some cases, people push themselves too much, not just for health reasons but for vanity reasons. They want to have an ideal body based on what they have seen in person or the media.

    We should exercise to feel good mentally and physically, not to compete with others.

    1. Thanks Maria. I agree with you; exercise is essential for a healthy life and must be done in moderation.

      That said and I’m not sure why, but it never seems to work out like that. We either do too little; don’t exercise at all or we go to the other extreme and do too much.

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