You’re exercising regularly and giving it your all. That’s great because exercising is essential to maintaining extraordinary health. However, you could be subjecting your body to too much of a good thing.
For example, if you don’t give your body the time it needs to recover from your workouts, then you could be doing more harm than good. Why? When you were in your teens or 20s, your body required only 18 hours to repair muscle fibers after a workout, but if you are 40+, your body needs 36 hours to repair those muscle fibers. If you work out prior to repairing them, then it can trigger unhealthy inflammation, which can adversely affect immune system function as well as your sleep. So, instead of jumping right into another workout, give your body the time it needs to recover, including one whole day of rest each week where you perform only stretching or light yoga.
HIIT, CrossFit® and other high-intensity training workouts are not only popular, but also effective. However, if you don’t perform other types of workouts, then you could be putting yourself at a higher risk for injuries as well as excessive wear and tear on your body. Truth be told, overdoing it on these types of exercises can lead to rhabdomyolysis, a severe breakdown of muscle fibers that can cause kidney damage. The recovery principle works for these, too. Give yourself 48 hours to recover from these intense workouts, and substitute a lighter workout or stretching.
If you perform cardio, but no strength training, then start adding some strength training to keep your muscles toned and strong. Without regular strength training, you can lose what muscle you have. In fact, people typically lose muscle at a rate of one-half pound per year after age 25—five pounds each decade—without regular strength training.
Last but not least, ease into a strenuous workout. Otherwise, your body releases inflammatory chemicals which can adversely affect the immune system, making it more difficult to recover—much like how your body needs proper time to bounce back. Try five to 10 minutes of easy lifting or moderate cardio prior to going all out.
So, be careful of exercise missteps. They could set you back, resulting in the opposite of your workout goals.
In order to avoid risk of injury, please seek advice directly from your physician, especially if you have existing medical issues, before beginning any exercise or nutritional program. Also, be sure to stretch after exercise to avoid muscle and joint tightness.
This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.