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HBCU Writers's Project
For Immediate Release
December 06, 2013
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Jessica Love
Florida A&M University Student Writer

(BPRW) Over-Exercising: Can it Backfire?

(BLACK PR WIRE/FAMU-TALLAHASSEE) -- One of the most important ways to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity is through regular physical activity. But can rigorous amounts of exercise affect you?

“Too much of a good thing can be bad for you,” said George “Chip” Heimbach, assistant director of programs at Florida A&M University recreation center. “Physical activity can be done to an extreme, and it can definitely affect you in a negative way.”

There is no way to convey how much exercise is too much because every person is different, so the amount of “appropriate” exercise ranges from person to person. According to Heimbach, rigorous exercise can put too much stress on the body. As a person gets older, he or she can experience arthritis and joint degeneration, which leads to joint replacement. It can also distort a person’s physical and mental being.

“Let’s look at professional and collegiate athletes,” Heimbach added. “They’re putting a lot more impact on their joints from extensive training and from playing the game. As they get older, some may be experiencing those joint issues or related injuries.”

Certain exercises, like dips and lap pull-downs, can cause more wear and tear on the joints than others. Limiting some of the movements within the normal range of motion can decrease the likelihood of experiencing complications in the future.

Florida State University student Rodney Jones dedicates his time to fitness. “I work out at least five times a week for about two and a half hours. My goals in working out is to build muscle, maintain endurance, strength and also stamina,” said Jones, 23, a junior social science student from Miami, Fla. “I don’t focus much on weight lifting because it puts a strain on my body, causing me to feel tired and nauseous.”

Lifting weights applies healthy stress to the muscles and bones, but can cause muscle straining or tearing due to excessive stress.

“If a person exercises too much, you can’t focus solely on the physical aspect because you then lose focus on the beneficial factors that comes with it,” Heimbach said. “Yes, we do want to improve our physical appearance, but sometimes that becomes the central focus, which may cause body dysmorphia.” Muscle dysmorphia is common in men. According to medical news today, men with muscle dysmorphia constantly weight train and exercise to achieve a more muscular or “manly” body.

According to Health.USNews.com, “Overdoing your workouts can actually lead to diminished strength and increased body fat, which is your body’s way of begging for a break.”

FAMU graduate Terence Pittman acknowledges extensive exercise can put a toll on his body, so he works out all areas of his body almost equally to make sure his muscles and joints get adequate amounts of rest. Pittman added, “I do at least 100 push-ups and crunches daily, and work out at the gym at least twice a week to get an upper and lower body workout. I jog once a week and play basketball and football two to three times a week to stay fit. Playing sports is a workout in itself.”

According to Mercola.com, “The most important part of creating optimal fitness is recovery; as intensity increases, frequency can be diminished.” Exercise is an important component in overall well-being, but over-exercising can progress into physical and mental complications. One key factor to remember is to “carefully listen to your body.”

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