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The Fitness Zone

How Much Exercise is Too Much?
August 23, 2014

With the current trend for a high training load and a high intensity, you could easily believe no amount of exercise is ever too much. QLD Fitness Coach, Chris Wong gives you the truth.

According to the Australian Government’s Department of Health, the guidelines for physical activity for adults, 18-64 years are as follows: There is not a definitive optimal amount of physical activity for adults, but there are substantial health benefits gained from engaging in activity that ranges from about 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75-150 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week.

Benefits at Lower end of the Spectrum of Activity

There are significant health benefits at the lower spectrum of activity (150 minutes of moderate activity/75 minutes of vigorous activity). These include reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), Type II diabetes, and psychosocial and musculoskeletal problems.

Benefits at Higher end of the Spectrum of Activity

The higher end of the spectrum (300 minutes of moderate/150 minutes of vigorous per week) is required for the prevention of unhealthy weight gain and some cancers. It is also recommended that adults should be active on most days and do muscle strengthening exercise at least two days per week. This assists in the maintenance of strength, the prevention of falls, as well reducing the risk factors for CVD and Type II diabetes.

There are no strict guidelines for how much exercise is considered excessive; however, there are a few symptoms of fatigue to look out for. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may be exercising too much.

Symptoms of a fatigued athlete can include:

·  Decreased aerobic capacity

·  Poor physical performance

·  Inability to complete workouts

·  Delayed recovery

·  Early onset of fatigue

·  Insomnia

·  Mood disturbances

·  Frequent minor infections/colds

·  Decreased muscular strength

If you starts to show regular signs of the above symptoms, there are a few interventions available, including:

·  Increasing recovery time (sleep/rest)

·  Reducing volume and/or intensity of the training

·  Suitable periodisation of training

·  Massage

·  Cryotherapy and thermotherapy

·  Ensuring that calorie intake matches expenditure from suitable including macro and micronutrients

As there are no definitive markers for fatigue, prevention is a recommended step. Listening to your body, and recognising the signs of fatigue can assist in maintaining your health and performance.

This content is not intended to be used as individual health or fitness advice divorced from that imparted by medical, health or fitness professionals. Medical clearance should always be sought before commencing an exercise regime. The Institute and the authors do no take any responsibility for accident or injury caused as a result of this information.

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