Is there such a thing as too much exercise?
We all know that if you’re over 50 it’s important to avoid a lifestyle that consist of just watching TV and lying around the house. It’s really necessary to maintain a fitness routine that includes cardio and weight or resistance training, but can too much exercise be as dangerous as none at all?
As with most things in life we have to strike a balance between the two. While lack of exercise can lead to heart disease, weight gain and loss of muscle mass or sarcopenia as we get older the risk involved with over training can be almost as debilitating.
The web site Simplicity Training list some of the risks of over training as
• Chronic muscle pain
• Increased substantial heart rate
• Depressed immune system
• Decrease of muscular strength
Over training leaves us more susceptible to injuries (that could set us back in reaching our fitness goals), viruses, illness and can actually decrease our energy levels and make us weaker.
As we age we need to give ourselves a little more recovery time between work-outs if we are doing any type of strenuous training. This past year I have changed my weight lifting schedule from 4 – 6 days a week to 3 – 4 days with a day of cardio in between days as long as I’m not feeling too fatigued. My body has responded well and I am happy with the results. Not only have I maintained my desired weight but I’ve managed to actually increase my muscle mass, which at the age of 52 is one of my primary goals.
I also suggest following good form when performing an exercise or lifting weights. Perfect form makes it hard to lift more than your body can handle. If you find that you have to “cheat” to lift what you usually do then you’re probably lifting too much or your muscles need a little more time to recover
I also suggest limiting your work out to 45 minutes to an hour. Believe it or not the greatest benefits are achieved in the first 40 minutes. I like to go all out for about 45 minutes or so and then taper of for the last 15.