We know that regular exercise is essential to a healthy life. And the key phrase here is regular. And the other word to put with regular is moderate. Most experts generally agree optimal health comes from a balanced diet and 60 minutes of moderate daily exercise/activity. Being healthy doesn’t mean bingeing on exercise. Just like bingeing on anything else, taking exercise to the extreme can bring serious health issues. Yes – something that sounds good for you is actually bad for you! Binge exercising means working out to the point of extreme fatigue or lifting weights that aren’t suitable for your strength/power and here are the negative effects of doing so:
1. You Are at Risk of Injury
Binge exercise can lead to an increased risk of injury compared to normal periods of moderate physical activity. Even if you want to continue to push yourself physically, you need to listen to your body and respect that it needs rest to be able to perform to its best ability. Pushing too hard when you have not had time to recover can lead to muscle tears, stress fractures and overall fatigue.
2. Binge Exercising Can Cause Binge Eating
Doing an intense and lengthy workout can often lead to a person gaining a false sense of security with regards to how much food they can then consume. Just because you have engaged in a more than average exercise regime, this does not mean that you can indulge in all of the junk foods that you want to. This is not how living a healthy life is supposed to work.
3. Dehydration Danger
A common mistake that people make when they are binge exercising is that they do not adjust their fluid intake to accommodate the extra physical activity. If you are overexerting yourself and not taking in the appropriate levels of fluid, then you will become uncomfortably and dangerously dehydrated which can manifest in fatigue, muscle cramping, headaches, low mood and slow recovery.
4. Pace Your Motivation
A lot of the time, the reason for a person binge exercising is that they are at the beginning of their fitness journey and full of enthusiasm. The key to long-term exercise success is to pace your motivation and get in to the satisfying rhythm of regular moderate exercise without too many motivational mood swings along the way. Equally, keep making new goals for yourself to stay focused and excited about what you are doing so you don’t burn out too quickly.
5. Habits Take Time to Stick
It is not the ferocity of the exercise you do that will help turn it in to a habit, but more the period of time that you spend doing it. It is generally believed that if you perform an action for 21 days, it will become habit, so in theory all it will take for you to make exercise a second nature part of your routine is to do it for 21 days, not to do it super hard to make it stick.
6. Think Long Term
If you are really committed to making exercise part of your lifestyle, then you need to think not a month ahead but literally years ahead. Binge exercising is not something that you will be able to sustain for the rest of your life. The sensible thing to do is to start as you mean to go on, with moderate, achievable exercise that you can continue to do without issue. As you work out through the years, your exercises can and will change and still challenge you.
7. Say No to Shortcuts
Binge exercising can also sometimes be seen as trying to take a shortcut to weight loss or improved fitness. Though this might seem time effective, your body does not feel the same way and will need even more time to heal if you put it through this intense and uncomfortable process.
You might binge exercise if you’re not in a positive mindset about working out – push harder, do it faster, get it out of the way more quickly. You might think it’s the best way to push yourself. You may have missed a few sessions and think you can make up for it by working out longer and harder. Whatever your mind is telling you in these situations is not right for your body.
Did you ever think that exercise might not be so good for you?