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How much exercise is too much exercise?

All of us strive to be healthy by incorporating the right foods, breathing techniques and exercise regimes. Apart from being a major component of a healthy lifestyle, the benefits of exercising daily are well established. But when it comes to the habit of exercising, too much of anything can backfire. Along with numerous health benefits, working out too hard and too long can have adverse effects on the health of an individual. 
What happens when you exercise?
Exercising daily in any form provides physical and psychological benefits – be it aerobic exercise, strength training, cardio, or yoga. Here are just some of the benefits:
  1. Improved heart rate
  2. Endorphins, the natural feel good hormones of the body, are released along with several others
  3. Immune system is activated
  4. Improved muscle density, tone and body posture
  5. Helps to keep depression, anxiety and stress at bay
The question is how much daily exercise is really needed?
Duration – an important factor
To achieve the above, daily dose of 45 minutes of workout is sufficient. Even 30 minutes are enough, if you workout effectively. In case you are preparing for a competition or a goal, such as a marathon, one hour of exercise is the maximum one should aim for.More than one hour of gym workout releases the stress hormone cortisol, taking your body into stress mode and thereby bringing down all the hard work. Your body will be more exposed to injuries, ligament tear as well as loss of sleep and bone density.
How do you know it’s too much?
Listening to the body is very important. Stop, reduce or change your exercise regime if you:
  1. Experience fatigue, become weak, and feel hurt
  2. Get sick frequently
  3. Stop enjoying your workout
  4. Start dreading that gym or fitness class
  5. The workout is more of a proof to others than a satisfaction to you
Health and fitness are of prime concern with today’s increasing sedentary lifestyles, but it is also equally important to know the difference between a health enthusiast and an exercise addict.

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