Punishing yourself at the gym or on the treadmill can feel good at the moment and may even help reduce stress. But does that extra impact = results? Truth is it may not be delivering the kinds of results you think it is. In fact, when pushed to extremes, your body can actually start sabotaging your fitness efforts.
Now before you think this gives you an excuse to slack on your cardio let’s get something straight. There is no doubt about it that cardio is great for your body and no matter what your fitness goals are it should be a part of your workout routine. Running in particular can improve your mood and overall mental and physical health. According to a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, participants who did just 30 minutes of running on a weekly basis had dramatically improved sleep quality, mood and concentration during the day over their peers who did not. There are countless other studies that prove you can live longer and have a better quality life when you include regular cardiovascular exercise. So the more the merrier, right? Not exactly, as with most things keeping a healthy balance is a must.
When over-exhausted, muscles respond with lactic acid production leaving soreness and fatigue in its wake. Eventually, muscles become incapable of rebuilding efficiently until they get a proper rest. Another drawback to the tired, worn-out after effects is that it often impacts form. Little adjustments to your running, lifting, swimming, biking, shooting or throwing motion not only assist your performance, they help prevent injury. When you’re too tired to think about proper form, you set yourself up for potential problems. So while we admire your effort, dial it down every once in a while so you can enjoy the rewards of your hard work.