Overexercising

Overexercising with Big Ron Jones.

Thinking of skipping rest day? Maybe reconsider! Around this time of year many people start prioritizing (or re-prioritizing) their health, however it is easy to get over eager with your gym sessions or morning runs. We welcomed Big Ron Jones back to discuss overexercising and its effects on the average person, as well as how to properly heal from over-doing it physically.   

It is not often that we hear the term “overexercising” used and many people are left wondering, “How much exercise should I really be getting?” Big Ron Jones answers that question, saying,

“For cardio, a minimum of 30 minutes with a maximum—never to exceed—60 minutes a day, three times a week. Cover all the major muscle groups of your body inside of three days a week of strength training. So: three days of strength training, three days of cardio.” 

What happens to the body when it is overexercised, overexerted, or just flat-out tired? Beyond the natural fatigue and tiredness that one may feel, there are other less-obvious side effects. Jones says, “When you do too much exercise, you’re short-term going to facilitate injury in the next few months if not next few weeks, for one. However, the body begins to recognize the stress and release a hormone called cortisol. This is going to increase the center-section fat.” 

Many people struggle with finding time to exercise or be physically active in their everyday life. However, some struggle with an opposite problem: overexercising. While it may seem impossible to do so, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information compulsive exercising affects 3% of the nation. It’s important to allow your muscles to recover after overexerting them. If you aren’t sold on the idea that your muscles need a break, consider the benefits of resisting adaptation. If you adapt to muscular stress, you run the risk of having to add additional stress to continue making progress.  

When facing short-term injury, you face micro tears in your muscles. Therefore, it is imperative that you allow your muscles to properly heal after overexerting them. “You should never train a sore muscle,” says Jones.

“Adequate recovery means the muscle is no longer sore or it hasn’t been used. You are trying to train the muscle down and rebuild it.” 

 While recovering, it is important to know what your body needs. In addition to a rest day, it’s important to maintain good nutritional health. Since muscles are essentially made up of protein and water, you need to stay hydrated and keep your protein levels up in order to properly recover. 

If you have overexerted your muscles after a workout and it’s resulted in a sprained or strained ankle, you may find the RICE method beneficial. RICE is an acronym for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate. For other muscle tears, compression, ice, and heat can all be beneficial. To avoid injury, it is important to take rest days and avoid over-training muscle groups.   

Powerlifters and runners are at risk of injuries, and as we gear up for Spring and 5k season many people will face overexercising. On running 5ks, Big Ron Jones said, “5ks will actually be considered an extreme event—I mean people don’t typically run that much in a day. If you run a 5k on a Thursday, I would say you’re not recovered until Monday.” After an event like a 5k or competition, it’s important to allow yourself a few extra rest days compared to normal for recovery.  

Health is all about balance—and it’s important to find balance in your daily exercise routine. It’s important to find time in your day for physical activity but be mindful of doing too much. You can find more information about Big Ron Jones on his Instagram @bigronjones

Written by Janah Brown

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