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Can you exercise too much?
Saturday, 26 September · 2 min read

The benefits of exercise are generally well known, but what if you’ve taken things a step too far?

Maybe you have more time on your hands at the moment, and you're running in the morning instead of your usual commute? Or perhaps you're working from home and exercising during your lunch break or straight after your day finishes?

Regular exercise is important for your overall health, but it’s also possible to exercise too much.

Doing more than 1 hour of exercise a day can increase the risk of injury or health problems, such as joint damage or irregular periods. It can even increase the chances of developing certain conditions, such as depression and anxiety.

It’s also possible to become addicted to exercise, where you feel you have to work out even if you’re ill or injured.

You may be exercising too much if you:

  • have sore muscles or achy limbs
  • can’t exercise at the same level as normal
  • feel like your body needs more rest
  • feel tired a lot of the time
  • lack motivation
  • find it hard to sleep well
  • feel anxious or depressed

If you think you’re working out too much, give your body time to rest between bouts of exercise. And if you have any of the symptoms above, take up to 2 weeks off completely.

To maintain good health, it’s recommended adults do 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week, such as cycling, skateboarding or brisk walking. You can always split this so you do around 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week.

Quote of the day

It is exercise alone that supports the spirits and keeps the mind in vigour.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman politician

How to exercise and stay healthy