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How Much Exercise is Too Much?

Fitness for mind and body.

Ask yourself the following questions ... and answer honestly!

How much exercise is too much?

  1. Do you feel guilty if a day goes by when you don't work out?
  2. Are you depressed if you are unable to exercise?
  3. Do you feel tired and lethargic, yet still have trouble sleeping?
  4. Do you have injuries that don't seem to heal?
  5. Are you reluctant to take time off to heal injuries?
  6. Are you ignoring aspects of your work, social life or family life?
  7. Do you increase or decrease your exercise, based on your weight or what you have eaten?
  8. Do you feel compelled to work out even if you are tired?
  9. Do you suffer from insomnia, undesired weight loss, fatigue, lethargy, irritability, loss of menstrual periods, multiple chronic injuries, or stress fractures?

If you answered "Yes" to several of the above questions, you are probably exercising too much.

The American College of Sports Medicine has issued the following guidelines for physical activity:


Frequency - 2-3 days per week
Intensity/Duration - 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions; 10 to 12 total exercises, one for each major muscle group (chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, calves and core - abs and low back)


Frequency - 3-5 days per week
Intensity - 50-85 percent estimated maximum heart rate, or exercise perceived to be "somewhat hard" or "hard"
Duration - 20-60 minutes of continuous exercise

Suggestions to break over-exercising:

Couple Stretching

  • Focus on health and fitness versus appearance
  • Trust your body cues. Listen when your body says "I'm tired," or "I ache."
  • Take rest days.
  • Avoid linking eating and exercise.
  • Don't let exercise determine your self-worth.
  • Vary the intensity of your workout.

Stuck in an Exercise Rut?

Just because you have a regimen, it doesn't have to be routine. The more different kinds of activity you do, the greater the odds you'll find a way to exercise and not get bored. Switching between exercises may also reduce the risk of injuries from repeated stress on the same parts of the body. And, variety means that regardless of changing seasons, locales, availability of exercise buddies, etc., you're more likely always to find a way to keep exercising.

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Disclaimer: The material on this Web site is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or fitness professional. Please consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program or fat or weight reduction program. FitnessandFreebies.com takes no responsibility for individual results, or any claim made by a third party.