Exercise-Too Little Or Too Much?

Exercise has amazing benefits. Exercise causes release of myokines and endorphins which improve metabolism, improve mood, muscle bulk, strength, brain health, bone health and increases longevity. Lack of exercise can lead to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, anxiety, poor balance, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and osteoporosis. But can you  exercise too much? Yes!  Over exercising can lead to detrimental elevated cortisol levels, inflammation, HPA axis suppression, stress fractures, insulin resistance, insomnia and weight gain!  Excessive  exercise can lead to acid overload which leaches critical minerals from bone and depletes body of proper micronutrient and intestinal flora balance. Everyone has their unique individual requirements for aerobic cardiovascular activity, high intensity anaerobic high intensity intervals and resistance training. In other words, for some people, less is more. Many people start working out to excess out of frustration and desire to lose those excess pounds. However, too much running, cross fit, bicycling can lead to the opposite – increased inflammation, cardiovascular risk and more weight gain. Too much exercise is unhealthy and can increase the risk of adverse health events.

How to know if you are exercising too much? Physical exam provides many clues: high blood pressure, rapid resting heart rate, condition of the skin, muscle bulk, tendon tenderness, joint inflammation, and  body weight distribution are clues of an imbalance. Signs and symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, depression, brain fog, skin rashes, worsening allergies, and chronic pain can also be indications that you are overdoing it. Laboratory findings may show worsening cholesterol, elevated blood sugar, thyroid abnormalities and elevated inflammatory markers. Talk to your practitioner about your exercise regimen to get the right balance for you!

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