Is It Possible to Work Out Too Much?

Is It Possible to Work Out Too Much?

Is there such a thing as working out too much? Also, how can I vary my workout routine?
- Luisa*

Exercising, like many things, is great in moderation. But it's definitely possible to push yourself too hard in the gym. Joint or muscle pain may be a sign that you're overdoing it. Tenderness at a specific spot could be a symptom of an overuse injury.

Sometimes, working out too much can be a sign of compulsive exercising, as can exercising in place of other activities, working out for too long at one time, and not feeling right unless you exercise.

Intense workouts every day may not give your body enough time to recover. Consider taking a day off in between hard workouts or alternating workouts — for example, if you run 5 miles on Monday, try walking and doing upper-body lifting on Tuesday.

A sports trainer can help you improve your body mechanics and give you routines to lessen the likelihood of injury.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: October 2013

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.





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Related Resources
OrganizationAmerican College of Sports Medicine This site has tips on staying safe while playing sports and exercising.
OrganizationNational Athletic Trainers' Association This site contains information on certified athletic trainers and tips on preventing and healing sports injuries.
OrganizationAmerican Sports Medicine Institute The mission of ASMI is to improve the understanding, prevention and treatment of sports-related injuries through research and education.
OrganizationAmerican Council on Exercise (ACE) ACE promotes active, healthy lifestyles by setting certification and education standards for fitness instructors and through ongoing public education about the importance of exercise.
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