Is your workout killing you? What really happens to your body when you exercise too much

Is your workout killing you? What really happens to your body when you exercise too much

Physical exercise is known to help boost mood and energy and keep heart disease at bay. But overexertion can be quite dangerous and sometimes fatal.

Written by Satata Karmakar |Published : November 21, 2020 5:02 PM IST

No pain, no gain - right?

Sweating it out in the gym and pumping the biggest weights you can manage might seem like the path to fitness. But, wait! do you know - your workout could be doing your body more harm than good if you are performing the exercises in the wrong way or pushing yourself too hard? Well, yes. You heard it right. Workout can help you stay fit, lose extra pounds, and remain in shape, but overexertion can be quite dangerous and sometimes fatal. Curious to know what really happens to your body when you exercise too much? Let's dive in.


Exercise is supposed to be good for you, 'YES', it is actually good for you but exercising too much or running too fast on the treadmill can have some serious consequences on your body and brain. Over-exerting yourself could actually undo the results you worked hard to get, and worse, could damage your heart and arteries, lead to serious injuries, and can also make you addicted.

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Are you pushing yourself too hard in the gym? These symptoms and habits may signal it's time to dial it back.

Your Body Suffers From Dehydration

Depending on the intensity of your workout, you could be losing as much as one to two-to-three quarts of water for every hour you exercise. This also depends on the type of workout you are doing and the amount of time you are spending at the gym. When you workout, you sweat - this is a very normal thing that you all already know. Similarly when you workout more than what is required, actually you sweat more which also takes out the water and electrolytes from your body.

Nonetheless to mention - have more water when you are working out. To keep your body hydrated, drink plenty of water both before and during your exercise, and end your workout early if you start experiencing symptoms like dizziness, vomiting, nausea, headaches, and muscle cramps.

You Suffer From Insomnia

You would think that after a few days of hitting it hard at the gym, you'd fall to sleep the second your head hits the pillow at night. Isn't it? No, not really. When you workout, your body releases more amount of hormones, this change in the hormonal secretion pattern is not always good. And, your sleep patterns become disrupted because of these hormonal changes. Your body is extremely sensitive and it requires proper management. Rest is an important part for the body to function properly, maintain a good and healthy sleeping habit to make sure you are fit not just from outside but also from inside.

Mood Swings Become Your Friends

All those crazy mood swings may not be hormonal after all. If you've been exercising more than you should, chances are, you're tired probably mentally and physically. That exhaustion tends to make us cranky, and it can lead to mood changes like depression, anger, irritability, and anxiety. Cooldown your gym routine and your attitude may start to balance out as well.

Heart Strain Is Not Abnormal Anymore

Yes, you read it right - exercising too much can cause heart problems. Well, you have been told over and over again that one of the best ways to have a healthy heart is to exercise regularly. So it can be surprising to you all to know that exercising too much can actually work in the reverse. You must be wondering HOW? - Exercising too much can lead to staring in your heart and your heart is nothing but a muscle and when it gets strained it weakens, which can lead to heart failure.

You Damage Your Kidneys

Exercising too much doesn't affect only your muscles. It can affect your kidneys, too. This condition is also known as Rhabdomyolysis. So, what is it? Rhabdomyolysis occurs when the breakdown of muscle fibers releases content directly into the bloodstream creating overall toxicity that causes a sensation of over-exhaustion, fatigue, and possible kidney damage.

Now, that you know what are the health complications of working out more than what is required by your body, it is also very important to understand that you shouldn't just give up on exercising since exercise plays a very important role in keeping your body healthy and safe from diseases. The only key is to get the right amount. So, feel free to go forth and run. Just not all the time.