As a licensed and nationally certified acupuncturist, I treat all kinds of aches and pains, from head to toe. Many of my patients are active people, who like to stay fit. Some go a little too far with their exercise regimen and that’s what lands them in my office.
That’s right, you can exercise too much. Your desire to be healthy through excessive running, weight lifting or other intense physical activity can actually damage your body. Injuries to the hips, knees and feet can be equaled by damage to one’s emotional health. Over-exercisers often suffer from control issues that prevent them from maintaining a normal social life. They turn down opportunities to spend time with friends and family so that can hit the track or gym for hours.
Women can pay an especially harsh price for over doing it. Losing too much body fat stops some women from menstruating and ovulating. Yes, excessive exercise will prevent some women from becoming pregnant. For others, it will lead to stress fractures and Osteoporosis.
How much exercise is too much? It varies from person to person. Generally, exercising 3 to 5 times a week for 30 minutes at a time will keep you fit. We probably all know people who exercise more than that and are no worse for the wear. But if you feel guilty when you miss workouts, postpone other responsibilities to exercise and won’t even stop for injuries, you’re running down the wrong road.
If you over-exercise, I encourage you to slow down. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish with an exercise program and plan accordingly. If your goal is losing weight, eating the right foods at the right time is more effective than trying to “burn off” every calorie you consume. It’s also less painful on the body and the mind.