A body in motion tends to stay in motion. This is a quote which I have often heard when people try to encourage others to get active. Essentially, when you get your body moving, a habit forms, and eventually your body will keep up the momentum for the days to come. However, too much of a good thing is not always best.
In today’s society, our appearance is often heavily tied to our perceptions of self-worth, and exercise tends to couple with this way of thinking. Often times, the media glamorizes exercise, as can be evidenced by the tons of workout and exercise clothing commercials. Even our own family and friends have been known to play into the idea of using the gym to get fit for numerous reasons such as, for that bikini you’ve been eyeing for spring break or to fight against the dreaded “Freshman 15”.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with looking fabulous; however, when your life and emotions begin to revolve around your workout schedule, the impact that this has on your physical and emotional wellness should be examined.
So how do you know when you’re exercising too much? :
- Emotional strain (increased anxiety, depression)
- Suppressed immune system
- Amenorrhea (lack of menstruation in women due to lack of body fat)
- Reproductive problems
- Heart problems
- Stress fractures and sprains
- Kidney failure
- More info here
If you are an avid gym warrior and also experience any of these symptoms, consider stopping by UNC Campus Health Services to set up an appointment. If you notice or are told about a friend who is experiencing these symptoms who also engages in exercise which might be considered excessive, don’t hesitate to reach out to them. Often times over-exercising is a means to sustaining an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia.
With all of this in mind, exercise is not inherently a bad thing; it’s quit the contrary. As with anything, doing things in moderation is key!