4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Overdo Your Exercise
In an effort to lose weight, build muscles, or any other reason why you exercise, sometimes you may overdo it … intentionally or otherwise. Doing so can have some serious side effects. Exercising realistically can provide these benefits.
1) Give your muscles time to recover
When we exercise, especially strength training, small tears called micro-tears occur in the muscle fiber. As these repair themselves, the muscle becomes stronger and bigger. However, if you don’t give the muscle rest, it won’t have time to recover. Most experts agree that one day of rest per week is needed to rest and repair muscles.
2) Prevent a stall in your weight-loss efforts
By exercising, people think that is the best way to burn more calories than they eat and as a result lose weight. But in reality, one can over-exercise and actually hit the infamous plateau. When this happens, the general tendency is to train even more to try and break through it. What is needed is less training.
The body has a built-in mechanism where it will stall weight loss if it thinks losing more weight could be detrimental. Rest or at least back-off on your training as the remedy.
3) Prevent burnout
Some people train so hard in an effort to reach their fitness goals that they actually do not look forward to training anymore. Everything in life is about moderation and if training is taking up much more than its fair share of your time, eventually you will start avoiding working out altogether. The remedy?
Include at least one day of rest per week as part of your workout schedule. As far as the length of a workout, do what is right for you so that you can still look forward to each workout.
4) Working out for the wrong reasons
Why do you exercise or more pointedly why do you over exercise? You should work out because you want to get fit and healthy, not because you want to fit into size 2 jeans when you are a size 12 now.
Be realistic in your goals. No amount of working out will get you to an unrealistic goal. The end result of overdoing your exercising will be burnout – both physically and mentally. The body cannot sustain overtraining.
Instead, train realistically and eat healthy nourishing food in the right portions. By maintaining a 500-calorie per day deficit, you’ll lose about a pound per week. Once at goal, burn the same number of calories as taken in to maintain your goal weight. If you keep your training regimen the same this means adding in about 500 more calories per day to your diet.
Fitness should not be about a number on the scale, but about having toned muscles, being healthy and feeling good about oneself.
How to Bust Past a Fitness Plateau
A plateau is a stall in whatever you are trying to do. If you are trying to lose weight, you aren’t; if trying to build muscle, you can’t. You have reached a point where what you are doing is not working anymore. The reason?
Most likely your body has become accustomed to what you are asking it to do. In short, if you are not challenging it to do better, it won’t. If you keep doing what you have always done, you’ll keep getting the same results, which in this case is no progress.
So the key is to challenge your body – give it a kick in the butt – try something different. But what do you need to change?
Actually, there are several things you can change, including:
Varying how hard you exercise can sometimes kick your body into action. For example, if you typically run, try running on a treadmill so you can change the incline, thus making your body work harder.
Order of exercise
Sometimes just changing the order in which you exercise can spur some reaction. For example, do your push-ups towards the end of your workout instead of at the beginning.
Number of repetitions
In the case of strength training, if you always lift the same amount of weight for the same number of reps for a particular move, change to more weight and drop the number of reps. Your body doesn’t like to be stressed, so it accustomed itself to a particular load by building muscle so it can handle that load. But if you load it more, buy increasing the weight, but lowering the number of reps, it will respond by building muscle so that it doesn’t have to repeat that stress again. It is called progressive overload.
Rest between sets
Mix things up by shortening the amount of rest between sets or between different exercises. Or try doing a superset where you don’t rest between sets, but instead rest after all the sets of a particular exercise are finished.
One more reason
One more reason why you might not be showing any progress is overtraining. Contrary to popular belief, muscle growth doesn’t occur while training; it occurs during rest and recovery.
However, if you are training those muscles too frequently, they might not have enough time to fully recover. That is why fitness experts say to take a week off of training every six to eight weeks to give your body a week of rest and time to grow muscles, in addition to your normal one day of rest per week.
Because everyone is different, you may have to try a few of these suggestions before you hit on one that works for you. But work it will and it will get you back on the road to progress again.