The Dark Side Of Working Out
Doing exercise is supposed to be something that is good for us, improves our health and generally enhances the quality of our lives. But working out has a darker side which is rarely discussed. Behind all the supplements and gym sessions can be a compulsive type of behavior that can lead to problems in the long run.
By their nature, people who love to stay fit and work out tend to be highly motivated individuals. They’re like the people who are willing to work 90 hours a week as the CEO of a major company or the athlete who gets up at 5 am every day to practice their technique.
But this drive can have some detrimental consequences you won’t find discussed on the mainstream bodybuilding or fitness blogs. We all need goals in our lives. But sometimes we can go too far trying to reach them and wind up hurting ourselves.
Working Out To Excess
Most people only need to spend around 45 minutes in the gym, five days a week max. Everything you need to do can be done in that short period of time, as long as your workout is intense enough. But many gym nuts spend longer than this on the weights, sometimes up to two hours a day, every day. They reason with themselves that the harder they work, the more results they’ll get, but this isn’t actually how the body works. What the body wants are short, intense bouts of activity to stimulate muscle growth and cardiovascular development. Straining the body too much actually causes excessive damage that the body can’t repair before the next training session.
In layman’s terms, this process is called “overtraining” and can lead to a bunch of devastating complications. In the short term, it can leave you feeling tired and drained of energy and lacking the motivation to go and do your regular workout. In the long term, it can damage your muscles, especially smaller muscles in your back, leaving you with permanent pain between shoulder blades and knots in your muscles. Long term overtraining can actually cause muscles to lose size and strength as the damage being done to them exceeds the rate at which the body can repair them.
Not Eating A Balanced Diet
Most fitness junkies recognize that eating real food is essential to being healthy. But some enthusiasts get sucked into the supplement industry marketing and start believing that a diet of shakes and pills is sufficient to keep the body running smoothly. They’re not. In fact, eating only supplements can lead to devastating digestive problems and a lack of energy, especially when paired with a bland diet of brown rice and tinned tuna. A diet devoid of colorful fruit and vegetables will leave you deficient in all the health-promoting compounds whole food contains.
The Search For Body Perfection
Finally, fitness can sometimes be a quest for body perfection: something which can never truly be attained. A perception that your body isn’t perfect can lead to a rollercoaster ride of anxiety and depression.