“Be productive”- this is more or less the mantra these days as everyone tries to fill in the gaping hole of boredom left behind by the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent worldwide lockdown it resulted in. And what sounds better than picking up that long overdue exercising schedule and get all fit, right? But you will be surprised to know that yes, exercising is good, but overdoing it? Not so much. 

While exercising as per your body’s capacity is wonderful, going over and beyond it is not going to bear positive results.

More time does not mean more exercise

The right amount of exercise, during the pandemic or any other time, remains the same as per CDC- 150 minutes of moderate physical activity (eg. brisk walking) for adults every week, plus muscle-strengthening activities two days per week. You can also mix of moderate physical activity with exercises that demand more effort like running. 

And as for utilizing the extra time in your hands by amping up the amount and duration of your exercise, the benefits of the same cease after you cross about 300 minutes of exercise per week.

"Whatever your regular exercise routine was, I wouldn't alter it because of COVID-19 per se," said Linda S. Pescatello, a kinesiology professor at the University of Connecticut.

While overachieving may sound like a wonderful idea at the time and you plan on completing 6 months of exercise in 3 months, Chris Travers, an exercise physiologist at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health, points out even a little exercise is great. A five-minute walk or run will do wonders for your cardiovascular system.

And besides, the moment you cross the 300 minutes of working out per week mark, it is highly possible that all the “extra” benefits you were dreaming of will probably not happen. 

“The overarching rule is to "listen to your body," said Robert Sallis, co-director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship at Kaiser Permanente. In fact, there are chances that over-exercising may lead to adverse effects. 

Here is a list of symptoms to know that yes, you are overexercising:

  • Loss of appetite 
  • Headache 
  • Muscle soreness and tenderness 
  • Fatigue (not during, but later) 
  • Injury 
  • Higher pulse (10 or more beats) the day after exercising 
  • Irritability 
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Reduced self-esteem 
  • Weakened immune system 

Exercise Find here how you be well ahead of the gam, with exercises that will help you make the most out of your summer. Photo: Getty