How Exercising Can Be Hazardous to Your Health
Getting fit can feel like a fight sometimes. You struggle to get out of bed to run in the early morning chill. You fight against uneasiness when everyone at the gym seems faster and fitter than you. You battle self-doubt when you pass the calendar and see your upcoming event circled in stark, Sharpie ink like a teacher’s failing grade.
Despite the struggle, or maybe because of it, you make war against the phrase “I can’t.” Slowly, gradually, you win. You get out of bed, you hold your head high at the gym and you stick to your training schedule for your event.
Until the blow you didn’t see coming hits you. Whether it’s the flu or that nasty cold your co-worker has had for the past month, it can undo all of your hard work. Then again, that hard work is probably the reason you’re sick.
The Paradox of Exercise
Overtraining doesn’t just lead to sports injuries; it compromises your immune system. This is because excessive exercise causes stress, a common risk factor for illness.
Merely ramping up your cardiovascular system produces the stress hormone cortisol. Besides helping us deal with short-term stress, cortisol also suppresses the immune system. Throw in inflammation caused from torn muscles and your immune system becomes overworked. You’re less likely to repel the viruses lurking on the treadmill controls.
Remember, I said “overtraining.” Moderate training, on the other hand, makes you 20 percent less likely to get sick because it stimulates your immune system to produce more disease-fighting cells.
How to Tell If You Are Overtraining
Many people beginning an exercise routine make the mistake of overtraining. The warrior mentality you adopted at the beginning of your regimen is valued in our society. Additionally, the experience of being sedentary doesn’t prepare you to tune into the following messages your body may be giving you.
- Exercise is more grueling than rewarding. Exercise should make you feel great even if you work hard. Aching joints, back spasms, even the sense that the hour is passing into eternity, can be signs that you are overtraining.
- Your heart is beating faster than usual. A heart rate monitor is an excellent tool to guide your exercise program. You can use it to avoid overtraining by keeping your heart rate within recommended guidelines. It can also alert you of a problem when your heart rate rises even if your routine remains steady.
- You don’t feel great throughout your day. Insomnia, fatigue, even craving sweets, can be signs that you need to rest longer between workouts.
And If You Get Sick. . .
Stop exercising and get well. Doing so will mean the difference between a short week of missed workouts and a lingering illness that completely derails your goals.
Take extra supplements. I recommend a vitamin C complex with rose hips. Also take an organic, whole food multivitamin. A probiotic with a variety of strains and formulated to survive stomach acid will further support your immune system. Probiotics are especially important if you’re taking antibiotics. Other supplements you should take include zinc, calcium lactate, magnesium lactate and organic potassium. Incorporate Celtic salt into your diet because it’s rich in trace minerals.
Healthy Perspective Leads to Healthy Body
Getting healthy isn’t a battle. Instead, the road to wellness should lead balance. Exercise is an integral part of that balance. With it, you not only boost your immune system, you also boost your mood and energy levels. You control your weight and prevent serious diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Exercise also helps you tune into your body and quiet your mind.
All of these benefits are more important than your 10K PR or how you look in your bathing suit. By keeping a healthy perspective on diet and exercise, you avoid the overtraining that leads to injury and illness.
Let Experts Customize Your Training
Call Mind Body Motion today for a free consultation. Our experts can help you develop a customized training routine to help you reach your goals and avoid illness and injury.
“Keep on moving”
Luis Ponce Sr.