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Over Exercising 


Exercise and nutrition are both key aspects in a pursuit to find a balanced healthy lifestyle. However, when taken to an extreme, even healthy behavior can become harmful. When exercise is prioritized first in life rather than included in a balanced lifestyle, it becomes harmful rather than helpful. Common indicators include: continuing to exercise when injured or sick, avoiding social functions to exercise, firmly adhering to an obsessive and regimented exercise plan, multiple exercise sessions in one day, exercise that leaves you exhausted rather than energized.


Those who suffer from excessive exercising have forgotten the importance of rest and recovery. Recovery is every bit as important as exercise or training, and without it, you will NOT achieve the results you are seeking. You also place yourself at risk for injury and burnout. Like anything else in life, strive for balance in your exercise routine!


  • Build in mandatory rest days to your workout schedule

  • Diversify your workout regiment, incorporating stretching and other recovery exercise into your existing strength training or cardio schedule

  • Listen to your body! Intuitively choose recovery workouts and rest when you feel soreness or fatigue

  • Your workout leaves you exhausted versus energized

  • You are unexplainably irritable and moody

  • You are sleeping too much or can’t sleep

  • You have “heavy” legs

  • You get sick frequently or can’t seem to recover

  • You feel sore for days at a time

  • You feel unmotivated and/or “blue”

This test was created by the Nottingham Trent University in the UK. For the test, you will give a point value between 1 and 5 for each question. 1 means that you strongly disagree, 2 disagree, 3 neutral, 4 agree and 5 strongly agree. Give yourself a score for the following 6 questions. If you show tendency towards agreeing with or strongly agreeing with the majority of questions, you may need to seek help.


  • Exercise is the most important thing in my life.

  • Conflicts have arisen between me and my family and/or my partner about the amount of exercise I do.

  • I use excessive exercise as a way of changing my mood (e.g. to get a buzz to escape, feel different, etc.)

  • Over time I have increased the amount of exercise I do in a day.

  • If I have to miss an exercise session, I feel moody and irritable.

  • If I cut down the amount of exercise I do, and then start again, I always end up exercising as often as I did before.