Women's Health (USA)


Sweat, rest, repeat. Find the best workout balance for you.

- By Lauren Del Turco

Crush a workout, conquer the world—right? A good sweat makes us feel all the things: unstoppabl­e, sexy, strong. But, as with Netflix dramas and fiberfille­d veggies, too much of a good thing applies to your fit routine.

When the satisfacti­on of a workout pushes you to do more and more, you might run into trouble, says WH Next Fitness Star and entreprene­ur Emily Schromm, CPT, who learned firsthand after trying to go level 100 in her daily workouts while building a business. “No matter how much I [trained], I couldn’t see muscle definition,” she says.

Which leads us to an inconvenie­nt truth: Though we tend to associate it solely with feel-good endorphins, exercise—especially high-intensity or endurance training—triggers a stress response in our bodies, spiking fight-or-flight hormones like cortisol, says Stacy Sims, PHD, a WH advisor and author of Roar. This reaction is okay (in fact, it’s what signals your bod to ultimately get stronger or faster)—unless you don’t have time to recover from it. Throw in a little cortisol-elevating life stress on top of those nonstop all-out workouts, and you can expect your fitness to pay the price.

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