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What the Yuck: Can you workout too much?
January 15th, 2012
09:16 AM ET

What the Yuck: Can you workout too much?

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: I can’t stop working out! Is it possible to overdo it?

A: Actually, yes. Let your body be the judge. If you suffer from pain, muscle soreness that doesn’t go away in a day, or loss of strength, speed, or endurance - all signs of overtraining - then you probably need a break from the gym to recover.

There’s also a psychological disorder called "exercise bulimia," or compulsive exercise, in which people work out excessively, often for hours at a time. They get so obsessed with sweating off unwanted calories that it negatively impacts other parts of their life, from their career to their relationships.

If that’s you, try talking to a therapist who specializes in eating disorders.

Copyright Health Magazine 2011


soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. FREEBRAINELECTRODEANDCANCERFORYALL

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    January 15, 2012 at 16:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ab

      What's wrong with you?

      January 16, 2012 at 13:54 | Report abuse |
    • al

      here in Canada they allow gay marriage between zionists under multicultural policies, it's all true

      January 16, 2012 at 14:51 | Report abuse |
  2. smart

    Of course you can work out too much. Anyone who's been working out longer than since New Year's Day knows that. Rest days are more important than training days because that's when the muscle rebuilds itself to be bigger than before.

    January 16, 2012 at 10:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Richard Gross

      I've did a cardio workout once for two hours straight and developed a irregular heart beat as a result it. Declined medicine for it and it healed itself on it's own. Wouldn't recommend that for everyone it's just that I knew my body healed good from injuries. Two hours in the gym working out strenous weight training didn't even cause me to be tired.

      January 16, 2012 at 21:06 | Report abuse |
    • Mathew

      The girl in the picture is H-O-T!!! What I wouldn't give...

      Anyways, you don't give yourself a heart problem for one 2-hour session in the gym... It was already there and your workout helped trigger it. It will always be there.

      January 17, 2012 at 13:01 | Report abuse |
  3. Really?

    Commentor FREEBRAIN is obviously a product of exercise bulemia!!

    January 16, 2012 at 11:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. estella

    "Workout" is a noun, as in "I overdid my workout." The verb is "work out," as in "Can you work out too much?" Thanks to Smart above who got it right!

    January 16, 2012 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rajiv

      Missed the show but reviews I have read on CNN and in the New York Times rvaeel that Perry went after Romney and everybody pounced on Mr. 9-9-9! Any one watch?

      April 9, 2012 at 07:34 | Report abuse |
    • Aniekdimaboekcinta

      Hmm, I attempted to vote for #20, but the Share link did not icofnrm my vote, or take me to another page I did not see another option on which to click in order to submit my vote Perhaps I am doing something wrong? Great work Stacy ❤ all of these images

      April 14, 2012 at 12:44 | Report abuse |
  5. ab

    I don't think most Americans have this problem. It's usually the other way around, not working out enough!

    January 16, 2012 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Fred

      Rod, Kai and Tixo left Atlanta today to join you on your walk today, Sat., and will probably be there in Houston late Sunday or Monday. They were a great help and cmofort to us when we needed them, and I am glad that they can rejoin you in your walk for peace . Hi to all those I met in Macon. I wish you the best on your journey.Anne Benson (Kai's mom.)

      October 11, 2012 at 18:56 | Report abuse |
  6. Heather

    Let's compare rates of obesity in our country vs. rates of people who work out too much.......

    January 16, 2012 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • percysmama

      Right On. Most people do not even come close to working out enough.

      January 16, 2012 at 22:34 | Report abuse |
    • mdonln

      So, exercising 'too much' could be a problem but sitting in a therapist's office would be a better use of my time? I'll stick with the so-called excessive exercising.

      January 17, 2012 at 02:45 | Report abuse |
  7. JWH

    "Most Americans" do not suffer from exercise bulimia. "Most Americans" suffer from non-exercise cardiac failure.

    January 16, 2012 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. James the elder

    The gal in the photo looks awfully nice.
    Honestly, a person can overdo just about anything.
    The number of people who exercise too much however, is very, very low.

    January 16, 2012 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Thurston Murray

    i I have worked out on a regular basis, since I was 12 years old and now I am 66. I think you have to use common sense in this case, because working out is good for the mind and body. After my heart surgery 5 years ago, I had to go to a more moderate exercise than I had been doing for many years. Listen to your body and it will tell you when you may be getting a little older or need to slow the pace a little bit. Exercise is basically good and more peoplle should give it a try!

    January 16, 2012 at 15:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. C. Sheen

    I was thinkin' that one hour workouts three times a day with the chick in the picture would be about right. I love it when they sweat!

    January 16, 2012 at 16:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dude

      At least three times a day, more on the weekends!

      January 16, 2012 at 19:07 | Report abuse |
    • J Sheen

      Charlie, haven't I told you to stay off these discussion forums? Mom

      January 17, 2012 at 10:48 | Report abuse |
  11. Pete

    Yes, you can work out too often, but I doubt 99.9% of Americans will ever reach that point.

    January 16, 2012 at 18:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. percysmama

    There is also just getting addicted to a normal amount of exercise and that is a very good thing. I run for 4-6 miles 6 days a week and my day off is hard. If more people did this the world would be a happier place and drug companies would lose so much money. No more antidepressants, diabetes treatment and lots of other health problems would be cured. watch biggest loser most of the contestants start on meds and end healthy. Wow?

    January 16, 2012 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • student

      While, a moderate amount of exercise is great, exercise ADDICTION is a serious thing. People have ruined careers, marriages, and their bodies because they couldn't stop exercising for hours on end. 4-6 miles a day is fine once you work up to it and know that you can take a break. That's only about an hour of running. More than 2-3 hours of exercise everyday unless, you are a serious athlete in a supervised training program, is potentially troublesome.

      January 17, 2012 at 06:44 | Report abuse |
    • Cathy

      All in all, the Church has the same conspiracy of sinclee that Moderate Muslims demonstrate towards the Jihadis in their midst.Benedict is not accmoplishing much by chastising the Irish church.How about actually defrocking some Priests?

      April 7, 2012 at 20:50 | Report abuse |
  13. tamara reina

    It is yes in lives of so many

    January 17, 2012 at 03:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. student

    Depending on what exercises you are doing, I think the most common problem is injury, especially with running and other high impact sports. If you suddenly get really into running and start running a lot you can develop shin splints, foot problems, groin pulls, etc. Not fun. You gotta start slowly. The same goes for tennis, fencing and anything that involves a lot of running and jumping. Weight lifting can also cause problems if you lift too much, don't lift properly or don't give yourself enough time in between workouts. If you are in pain you have to stop. If you are new to exercise I recommend you work with a personal trainer for a little bit to make sure you aren't hurting yourself.

    Also of course, you should also have a recent physical before you start any sort of exercise program.

    January 17, 2012 at 06:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Sara

    This is such a small minority of people that this article wasn't even worth printing. Lets talk about how many people exercise too little!

    January 17, 2012 at 09:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alex

      I think it is... it's fairly easy for people just getting started on a workout routine to overtrain- their bodies aren't used to it. So they go out, get entirely TOO motivated, bite off more than they can chew, but find themselves feeling weak, fatigued, sore... and quit.

      Important to let people know to take it easy at first, work up to more intense routines... better chance of them sticking with it!

      January 24, 2012 at 08:50 | Report abuse |
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    Normally I do not learn article on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, very great article.

    May 17, 2012 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
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