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The Double-Edged Sword of a Self-Care Exercise Regimen

The Double-Edged Sword of a Self-Care Exercise Regimen

Exercise is something that everyone knows is good for you. It tones up your muscles, improve digestive function, boosts your moods and helps you sleep better. Plus, it can keep health issues such as diabetes and certain cancers from occurring.


You’ll notice that you feel better after exercising. But exercise isn’t something that you can do without thinking it through and planning. Because if you don’t do it the right way, it can take a toll on your health.


Too Much Exercise Is Bad for You


Because exercise is a good thing, it’s easy to develop the belief that more is better. But what’s actually true is that if you exercise too much, not only can it take away the benefits that you’d normally get from working out, but it can also make your health worse.


When you exercise too often, you can cause damage anywhere in the body. Not only that, but you can create pathways in the brain which makes you crave the exercise. The reason for this is found in the release of endorphins.


These brain chemicals give you a natural high. So, when you exercise too much, your body actually becomes hooked on endorphins. Your workout should be one that is planned according to your weight, health, physical ability and age.


While there are standard suggestions for how long you should exercise, those suggestions are meant to be followed day in, day out for more than a few hours a week. Plus, you also have to consider the type of exercise that you’re doing.


Some people think that if they exercise more, then it means they’re multiplying everything that’s good about exercise. But studies have shown that not only do hard-hitting exercisers not gain extra benefits, but they can raise their risks of dying earlier.


It’s not just prolonged, hard-hitting exercise that can do damage to your body. If you exercise too often for too long, it can cause problems because your heart can’t keep up with the demand put on it.


So what happens is your heart ends up with damaged arteries. Exercising too much creates a sense of irony in that you exercise to be healthy, but too much strips you of your health.


In fact, you can increase your chances of having a heart attack or a stroke if you exercise too much to an extreme level. There are some warning signs that can alert you that your body is telling you enough is enough.


One of these signs is that you can’t keep up with your physical goals the way you once did. You’ll struggle to get through a workout. Proof that you’re overdoing the exercise also shows up because you can develop insomnia.


This is caused because too much exercise keeps your body in a state of overload. Women can develop problems with their bone health and men can develop problems with their testosterone production from too much exercise.


Don’t Exercise the Wrong Way


When you exercise, if you do it wrong, you can cause problems both outside and inside your body. You can cause pain. While you might think that pain is a sign that you’re stretching yourself, it’s actually a sign that you need to stop immediately.


Pushing through painful workouts isn’t normal, despite any advice you may heard. Pain is a sign that something’s going on that’s not right and if you don’t find out what it is, you can damage your muscles or your joints.


Or, you could have an underlying health issue that the exercise is impacting. Sometimes when you’re working out, you might find that only a certain movement is causing pain.


That’s a specific or targeted pain location. And sometimes switching up what you’re doing can stop that pain. For example, if you’re using a weight machine and you have pain in the shoulders, but you can use a treadmill and don’t have pain, then that’s a sign you’re experiencing targeted pain.


You should get it checked out because it could be something as simple as strain - but it could be a muscle tear. Don’t exercise when you’re not feeling your best. If you feel sick or you’re experiencing muscle weakness or dizziness, it could be that you’re not compensating with enough food or you’re not eating well nutritionally and your muscles aren’t getting the nutrients they need for workouts.


You should avoid exercise if you feel fatigued. This is different from just feeling tired. Fatigue is when you don’t have any energy and you feel exhausted no matter how much sleep you get.


This can be a sign that you’re exercising wrong. You might be pushing your body too far above your endurance level. You may be trying to do too much too soon when you need to build your endurance level instead.


You also want to make sure you always get your heart rate up. When you exercise, your heart should hit a target rate. If it doesn’t, it means that you’re not hitting the right intensity.


However, if your heart is beating well above your target range, that can be a clear indicator that you’re exercising wrong. You’ll need to back off for your heart’s sake. After you exercise, your body needs a recovery period.


If you’re exercising wrong, you may not be giving yourself enough of a recovery time. So, your muscles aren’t recuperating. Instead, what might be happening is that you’re working out, your muscles are getting micro tears and then not healing before you’re back at it again.


Exercise Timing Does Matter


Believe it or not, there is a right time to exercise. You might have seen commercials where the die-hard jogger rolls out of bed, puts on exercise clothes and heads out the door to begin his day.


You want to make sure that you’re preparing your body for the intense exercise it’s about to experience. A good stretching routine will help prevent injuries, and it may not be mentally soothing to force yourself to exercise right out of bed.


Exercising right before bed isn’t good, either. You might have this habit because there’s just no way that you can fit exercise into your schedule during the day. If you’re attempting to exercise right before bed, you’re going to negatively impact your sleep.


When you exercise, it revs up your body. Your heart rate kicks up, and you feel alert. When this happens, you’ll have trouble falling asleep afterward. If you have to exercise at night, just make sure you have a few hours between your exercise time and your bedtime.


If you have a sedentary job, don’t go from sitting for long periods of time to exercising immediately unless you’ve had a chance to loosen up your body first. Preparing to exercise rather than jumping right into it means you’ll be less likely to end up with a sprain or other injury.


The wrong time to exercise is when you haven’t had anything to eat. When you try to exercise and you haven’t eaten, it makes the workout twice as hard. Your muscles need food before a workout.


Without it, you’ll struggle because your body doesn’t have any fuel to pull from during your routine. While you shouldn’t exercise if you haven’t eaten, you also don’t want to exercise if you’ve just consumed a lot of food.


After a meal, your body gets to work focusing on your digestive system. If you jump into exercising right after eating a big meal, your body isn’t able to put forth the same effort to helping with the physical demands associated with exercising, so you can end up developing a stomachache, or feeling sick.


Don’t skip sleep to fit in an exercise session, either. When you haven’t had the sleep that your body needs, it’s best to wait until you do before you exercise so you can properly do your routine.


Balance Your Exercise


It’s always best to balance the kind of exercise that you do so that you’re working out in a way that focusing on self-care. While you can certainly do a hard-hitting exercise routine, you don’t always have to choose the tougher option.


Exercise can be good for your body and self-care means that everything you choose, including the way that you exercise should serve both your body and your mind. Yoga is a great exercise for any age at any fitness level that you can do at home or through a class.


Rather than focusing hard on pushing yourself physically, yoga instead focuses on the overall benefits for both the body and the mind. This type of exercise can help to control pain, boost your mood - including depression - and benefits your muscles.


It’s proven to release stress and helps those who practice it to feel more relaxed than more vigorous forms of exercise. Yoga is known to help lower inflammation in the body. It can help you sleep better and is great at helping the body manage pain including chronic pain.


Walking is another gentle type of exercise. You can walk anywhere, and even if you just have ten minutes to devote to walking, you’ll notice an improvement in how you feel. It provides self-care in the area of heart health as well as builds muscle endurance and is also known to calm anxiety.


Pilates is a gentle exercise that you can practice. This type of exercise is low impact, but gives high impact health benefits. It’s a type of strength training rather than an aerobic exercise, yet it’s a great overall workout because it focuses on the body and the mind in addition to core strengthening and flexibility.


Zumba is another gentle exercise you can practice even though some of the rhythms can be fast paced. This style of exercise uses music that participants dance to which is one of the reasons why it’s a popular workout.


Whichever exercises that you choose to do, just remember that it’s important that you enjoy it so that you’re not just catering to your body’s physical needs, but your emotional state of mind as well.

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