Back in February, The Biggest Loser winner, Rachel Frederickson, made headlines not only for winning one of the most successful reality TV programs. When she stepped out onto the stage during the show’s finale, social media went buzzing and many people were stunned — stunned at the dramatic transformation and how she seemingly had gone too far, appearing a little too thin for her tiny frame.
While adopting a healthier lifestyle with a well-designed diet plan and exercise routine is applause-worthy, is it possible for people to go overboard?
Compulsive exercisers build their lives around working out. They feel genuinely distressed if they can’t exercise as much as they feel they need to (or should be). Although the media seems to focus more on women’s “obsession” with weight management, men aren’t exactly free from the offense.
When Game of Thrones star Kit Harington was preparing for his gladiator role in the movie Pompeii, the actor’s workout routine to achieve that ripped warrior look resulted in a slight case of body dysmorphia — a condition where one becomes excessively anxious regarding body image. He suffered from “exhaustion,” prompting his trainer to step in and fix the mess before it was too late. While the actor claims he’s “proud of what he achieved in the end” (as was the case with Frederickson), there’s no denying the effect extreme workouts can do to anyone.
So, ladies, in your quest for that enviable bod, keep in mind that more isn’t always more. Here are some signs you may be headed for exercise burnout:
Lowered Performance Level
One of the earliest signs you may be overdoing it is a drop in your workout performance. This change is more noticeable for people active in endurance activities such, as cycling, swimming, and running. You know you’ve been overtraining if you’re feeling low in energy but not exactly sick.
Constant Mood Changes
Something we’re all too familiar? Even when it’s not that time of the month, a physically overstressed body experiences depression, anxiety, confusion, anger, and irritability more often. When you’re physically overloaded, you release the same stress hormones when you’re emotionally stressed, making you feel extra agitated.
Prolonged Muscle Soreness
An extreme workout routine leaves you with soreness and pains in your muscles that won’t go away even after a few days. Your body requires a good amount of recovery time after an intense training session. If you’re experiencing constant, relentless soreness, it means it’s not getting enough.
Feeling less motivated to hit the gym? A major drop in your enjoyment and motivation levels while doing fitness activities is a sure sign of burnout. Your body may be releasing signals that you need some time off. Take a few days break and see if your motivation comes back.
As with everything else in life, the key is to keep everything in moderation. Remember, exercising can be similar to a drug. If you don’t take enough, you won’t get its benefits. But if you have too much, well, you have issues.
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Myra is a writer and an editor. She has penned speeches, magazine articles, educational materials, and online content. She enjoys traveling, doodling, taking photos, and laughing to "Friends" reruns.