Too much of a good thing

> Ex­er­cise ad­dicts need to learn to mod­er­ate their work­outs or suf­fer dire con­se­quences

The Sun (Malaysia) - - LIFESTYLE -

be­comes an ad­dic­tion.

They may miss out on pro­mo­tions at work, or lose their jobs, or dam­age their re­la­tion­ships as the re­sult of their fix­a­tion on ex­er­cise.

Even in the face of dan­ger, ex­er­cise ad­dicts will con­tinue to ex­er­cise. They will even feel the need to ex­er­cise in the face of phys­i­cal in­juries, such as re­cent bone frac­tures.

Ex­er­cise abuse is most dan­ger­ous when an ad­dict is in­jured or ill, as those who push past their lim­its will not think twice about pow­er­ing through their ill­ness to fin­ish a work­out.

In some ex­treme cases, ex­er­cise ad­dicts will even re­move the cast from their leg in or­der to con­tinue ex­er­cis­ing.

As many as 10% of high­per­for­mance run­ners, and pos­si­bly an equal num­ber of body­builders, have an ex­er­cise ad­dic­tion.

While just 30 min­utes a day of mod­er­ate phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity is enough to help pre­vent things like di­a­betes, high choles­terol, and high blood pres­sure, for most of th­ese peo­ple, a daily ex­er­cise ses­sion can run any­where be­tween two to six hours, or even longer!

Ex­er­cise ad­dicts tend to think that a work­out that is one set less will make them weaker. It doesn’t work that way.

Too much ex­er­cise can lead to in­juries, ex­haus­tion, de­pres­sion, and a low qual­ity of well-be­ing. It can also cause last­ing phys­i­cal harm.

Your adrenal gland, pump­ing out hor­mones as you pound the pave­ment, can only pro­duce so much cor­ti­sol (stress-sup­press­ing hor­mone) at a time.

Sud­denly, the heart­beat you’d low­ered to a rest­ing 48 is up to 80. Your stamina im­proves, and you can now run for two hours, then three hours. But you still can’t im­prove your 10K times.

Ex­ces­sive ex­er­cise, like ex­treme di­ets, at­tracts peo­ple who feel a need for con­trol in their lives. But it should be made clear that too much of some­thing never trans­lates to a good thing.

Hard­core ex­er­cis­ers need to re­alise that a missed work­out ses­sion due to in­jury or ill­ness does not mean that their gains and strength will be stunted.

In fact, start­ing a work­out be­fore the body has had time to re­cover will not bring any pos­i­tive re­sults at all.

The body may be self-heal­ing, but like the heart, heal­ing takes time, so don’t push it.

Re­mem­ber, ev­ery­thing in mod­er­a­tion is still the best way to go.

Let’s be fit!

Jonathan Tan is the club man­ager of the Sports Toto Fit­ness Cen­tre at Ber­jaya Times Square. He can be con­tacted at life­style.jonathan@ the­sundaily.com.

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