Exercise Reality Check - Are You Overdoing It?


by Anton Maartens

Do you exercise every single day of the week? If so, you may possibly be overdoing it.

In time many serious exercisers discover that a 'less-is-more' approach to exercise is much more rewarding and enjoyable than insane fitness fanaticism.

The truth is that 'minimum' fitness is all that is necessary to obtain most of the health and fitness benefits that exercise has to offer.

Exercise is simply what it is: exercise. It shouldn't be the highlight of your day. If it is, you may be the victim of an unbalanced lifestyle.

Exercise is merely a means to an end, not a reason to neglect other aspects of your life. The moment it becomes an obession your personal health may be at risk.

Are you over-zealous?

Give yourself a quick exercise reality check with the following quiz:
Simply answer "True" or "False"?

1) Exercise is only beneficial if you spend hours doing it.

2) You need an expensive gym membership and the latest, state-of-the-art fitness equipment to get real results.

3) You must always be in the mood for exercise. If you don't have enough energy on some days there is something seriously wrong with you.

4) The most important purpose of exercise is to make you feel better and look great.

5) The more exercise you do, the sooner you will get results.

6) Exercise must cause discomfort and pain, otherwise it is not working.

7) Nagging aches and little injuries are normal for people who exercise frequently.

8) Exercise is hard work, it is not supposed to be fun.

9) You lack self-control and determination if you skip a day at the gym.

10) Exercise is the best way to resolve boredom, loneliness and personal frustration.

Did you (or were you tempted to) answer TRUE to any of these statements? If so, you may need to reconsider the role exercise plays in your life.

Signs of Overtraining

Overtraining can cause serious injuries, decrease your immunity to disease and lead to emotional burn-out. The following symptoms may suggest that you need to adjust your program or add an extra day or two of rest to your exercise week:

Changes in your Resting Heart Rate
Your resting pulse rate is taken on awakening in the morning before getting out of bed. An increase of 10% or 10 beats per minute for several days in a row is accepted by most experts as a sign to slow down.

Changes in your personality
Anger, depression, sadness or a lack of energy may be a signs of overtraining.

Poor performance
You battle to keep up your normal performance and exercise ability.

Constant fatigue
You feel tired all the time and lack the energy to perform simple daily tasks.

Physical symptoms
Sore throat, sore muscles, chronic diarrhea.

Disrupted sleep
You fall asleep easily, awaken abruptly in the middle of the night or experience insomnia.

If any of these symptoms seem familiar to you, you may need to face facts: an intelligent fitness program includes   at least one or two rest days per week, as well as a day or two of easy training.

If your symptoms are cause for concern and seem to continue, consult your physician immediately.

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