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Tags: over | exercise | risk | health

Over-exercising Does More Harm than Good

Monday, 30 July 2012 11:46 AM EDT

Most Americans don’t get enough exercise, but a select few are getting too much of a good thing, according to new report out of Harvard Medical School.
Overtraining by recreational athletes and competitive sports competitors can pose serious health risks, according to the report in this month’s Harvard Health newsletter Strength and Power Training.
“Athletic performance demands a balance of extreme effort and recovery,” according to the report. “Many recreational and competitive athletes tend to think that more exercise and effort is always better. Even if they are aware of the facts, the tendency is to want to exert themselves a little longer and a little harder during the next workout.”
SPECIAL: These 5 Things Flush 40 lbs. of Fat Out of Your Body — Read More.
The Harvard report identified symptoms of overtraining, risk factors and how to prevent overtraining.
Symptoms of overtraining: Fatigue is the most common symptom of overtraining. But people who exercise to much without allowing for sufficient recovery may also experience tension, irritability, decreased appetite, restless sleep, loss of sexual desire, aches and pains, a decline in athletic performance, depression, menstrual irregularities in women and prolonged muscle soreness.
Risk factors: People who are not in good health may be most at risk of overdoing it, when starting or increasing their activity levels. Other factors: medical illness or surgery, altered mood, compulsive or “type A” personality, diminished stress tolerance and coping strategies, absence of normal menstrual cycles, engaging in intense or long workouts many times a week, poor diet or sleep patterns, overuse of alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, herbs, stimulants or medications. In general, men are at higher risk of overtraining than women.
Preventing overtraining: Pay attention and respond to the earliest symptoms, such as fatigue, by easing back on exercise and not exercising harder.
SPECIAL: These 5 Things Flush 40 lbs. of Fat Out of Your Body — Read More.Intersperse days of light exercise or complete rest as part of your weekly routine. Continually increasing the amount and intensity of exercise results in the greatest chance of overtraining. Eating a balanced diet and getting adequate sleep are also important to prevent overtraining. Nutritional supplements such as extra vitamins and amino acids do not aid performance, but some women should take an iron tablet to maintain a normal red blood cell count.
“In general, intense endurance training sessions should be limited to no more than three days in a row,” the report said, “and for resistance training the intervals of muscle rest are usually every other day.”

© HealthDay

Overtraining by recreational athletes and weekend warriors can pose serious health risks.
Monday, 30 July 2012 11:46 AM
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