We are always being told that exercise is good for us and we should do it regularly. Working out stops us from living sedentary lifestyles, prevents disease and enables athletes to train their bodies to perform above their normal capacity. However, exercising too much can be dangerous and cause problems for many people. Here are some examples why you shouldn’t work out every day:
Some people believe the mantra “no pain, no gain”. However, this saying is wrong as pain is an essential piece of information. You should never ignore or push through it but listen to the signals instead. Then you must learn from your setback and look at other options. For example, you could find a new hobby that motivates you in a similar way.
Exercise can be addictive
Too much exercise can make the body produce endorphins, which are hormones that reduce anxiety and increase feelings of happiness. However, these are no different to the drug morphine and can make exercise addictive. This will lead to anxiety and depression if you skip a workout. This will lead to negative mindsets, fears of weight gain or missing social gatherings.
For at least one day a week, try a new activity that satisfies your brain, such as cooking or reading a book. Cognitive behavioural therapy will help you break your addiction.
Exercise is not a distraction
Fitness should not be more important than your family or job. If you can’t strike a balance, exercising just 20 minutes a day will give you more health benefits than spending hours at the gym.
It is detrimental to the heart
Strenuous exercise over a long period of time can lead to scarring of heart tissue or fibrosis. Endurance workouts can result in weakened heart muscles, which make the heart beat erratically. This disturbs normal heart rate and rhythm, which has ended many athletes’ careers.
To avoid this, don’t do excessive exercise. Alternatively, do proper warm-ups and cool-downs after every workout, and allow yourself a day to recover.
You hate exercise
Life is full of things we don’t feel like doing but must do, such as going to work, dentist appointments or paying taxes. However, exercise doesn’t need to be one of them. The body is meant to move regularly, but exercise may not always be the answer. Instead, replace the word “exercise” with “activity” and find a different way to get active, such as hiking or walking.
Exercise can cause diabetes
Many endurance athletes eat lots of sugary snacks such as “healthy” muffins and bagels. Later on, after a hard workout, they eat carb-filled meals like pasta and lasagna. In between, they consume high amounts of sugar in the form of energy drinks, bars and gels. These result in high sugar levels which cause an addiction to sugar, damage to nerves and blood vessels and Type 2 diabetes.
Try to cut the carbohydrates out of your diet, so then your exercise levels will decrease. If this is too difficult, try overcoming your addiction to exercise first and then break your addiction to sugar.
It disrupts diets
The changes that come with eating a low-carb or low-calorie diet can be disrupted by intense exercise. People are more likely to give up healthy lifestyles when they eat better and exercise more, and then start craving unhealthy foods. This makes it harder to stick to their healthy diet and so they quit.
If you replace exercise with yoga, you won’t burn too many calories or hinder your diet.
It can be stressful
If the intensity of exercise is too great, this leads to greater levels of stress and exhaustion. This leads to fatigue, restless sleep and ill health. You can avoid this by resting and recovering, and not consuming caffeine or nervous system stimulants.
It leads to premature aging
Your body has its limits and once you’ve reached them, you start to slow down. You can develop fibrosis and inflammation, which can lead to premature aging. Sprint interval training, heavy yet brief sets of weight training and small amounts of light endurance training, would be more beneficial.
It damages joints
Exercise can be addictive and some injured people continue regardless of the pain, which is detrimental to their tired joints. These will give them long-term health issues as a result, like knee and hip replacements.
Try running on different surfaces, like hills. Alternatively, take part in other sports which require many different motions to work out all your muscle groups, such as football or basketball. Learn to recognise when you’re exercising regardless of pain because you think “you have to”, and do another activity like reading a book.