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9 Signs Your Exercise Routine May Be Too Much By Dr. Danielle Litoff

Let’s go back to the basics: if it feels good, it is usually good; if it feels like pain, that is a sign that your body is injured or needs a break. And pain is not always obvious right away - it can sneak up on you over time.

Pain is our body’s way of warning and protecting us by stimulating the nervous system to produce chemical reactions to signal the body. Unfortunately, it has become a badge of honor in our American culture to go-go-go, deprive ourselves of certain foods, exercise six days a week, and generally push ourselves in the name of health and strength. But what if that is doing more harm than good?

9 Signs That You Need to Allow Your Body to Recover:

  • Exercise leaves you exhausted instead of energized

  • You get sick easily, or it takes longer than normal to get over an illness

  • You have the blues or anxiety

  • You're unable to sleep or you can't seem to get enough sleep

  • You have ''heavy'' legs, or feel weighed down

  • You have a short fuse and are quick to anger or irritation

  • You're regularly sore for days at a time

  • You have irregular periods or no periods at all

  • Recurrent injuries such as overuse injuries, tendonitis, shin splints, etc.

Overtraining and disordered eating (e.g. restrictive dieting, compulsive eating, or skipping meals), are often co-conspirators leading to real consequences in health and fitness.

Stress without recovery will spike and alter cortisol rhythms. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates:

  • Sex hormones

  • Neurotransmitters

  • Metabolism

  • Immune system

Over-exercising puts you at greater risk for injury. The more you over-exercise, the more likely you are to end up with pulled or torn muscles, loss in bone density, altered menstrual cycles, pain, anxiety, disordered sleep cycles, and irregular metabolism. The exact opposite of why you started exercising initially!

If you find yourself experiencing several of the nine signs that your exercise routine may be too much, take a pause and evaluate the severity of your symptoms. Connect with a physical therapist, trainer, or nutritionist who can help. Or just give yourself the week off and then slowly start introducing movement back into your routine.

Dr. Danielle Litoff DPT is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Health Coach at Battle Born Health in Reno, NV. Her practice focuses on the principles of modern, proven medicine, delivered with an old-fashioned commitment to patient care and one-on-one relationships. For more wellness tips, visit her blog where she writes about various topics of nutrition, health, and physical therapy."

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