Are you working your body too hard when you exercise? Are you doing too much of one kind of exercise and not enough of another? Should you be cutting back on your cardio to focus on other things or to keep yourself from overdoing it?
I’m going to attempt to answer some of these questions here for you, and this question of how much is too much is one I see often. That’s because a lot of people have heard for many years that cardio is very good for them and is excellent for building muscle and burning fat, but they’re not sure at what point they might be overdoing it. That’s not something that comes up as a topic of conversation very often, and it’s answered even less often. So, that’s what I’m going to try to do for you here.
How Much Cardio Should you Do a Week?
Everyone needs a little cardio in their life, and the recommendation from health experts is that the average adult get about 150 to 300 minutes of cardio activity each week. Cardio activity should be moderate to heavy. If you’re getting a lot of heavy cardio activity, you won’t need as much moderate or low-level activity.
Cardiovascular exercise is activity that gets your heart rate up and keeps it up. To put things in perspective, a moderate level of cardiac activity would be something like a brisk walk. That’s enough to elevate your heart rate a little bit and keep it up as long as you’re doing that activity.
What if you’re aiming for heavy cardiac activity every time you exercise? That may not be the smartest move, but you should keep it to a minimum of 75 minutes a week. Most people benefit from more bounds cardiac regiment, throwing in mostly moderate activity and then some high cardiac activity.
So, how much is too much cardio?
Your body will tell you when you’re doing too much, like when you’re over observed over tiring yourself. This can be called overtraining, and it means that you’re pushing your body too far. Let’s talk about some of the warning signs you need to look for that tell you your body is saying you’ve done too much cardio.
Signs You’re Doing Too Much Cardio
1. You’re Always Tired
Overtraining and overworking yourself is going to result in a lot of tiredness. If it seems like you can never recover from your workouts and you dread your next one because of how tired you are, you’re probably pushing yourself too hard.
Remember that cardio activity is good for your heart if you’re doing it enough, but it can be harmful for the heart if you do it too much.
2. You Feel Sore All the Time
Of course, if you’re overworking your body and feeling tired all the time from exercising, you’re going to feel sore as well. How much cardio is too much? If you constantly feel sore after workouts and even the following day, you’re probably doing too much cardio.
See what happens when you cut back on your cardio and if you feel any better. Try this for several days of working out and compare the way you feel then to how you felt while you were doing a lot of cardio.
Muscle soreness can also be caused by not getting enough rest or adequate nutrition. Make sure your body is getting hydrated and that you’re eating a high protein diet, if you’re working out extensively. Plenty of bed rest is important to, and you probably need about 8 hours of sleep every night.
If that’s not happening, you will feel sore, and cutting back on your cardio will help. However, you need to make other lifestyle changes and try to get enough sleep and ensure that your diet is adequate for your needs.
How much cardio is too much for building muscle? That soreness is a good indicator that you’re working your muscles too much. They may be sore initially when new muscles are growing, but if they are constantly sore, that indicates too much cardio activity.
Keep in mind that the duration of your cardio exercise and the intensity both play part in determining whether you’re doing too much or not enough. You may be able to keep the same exercise duration but just cut back on the high level of intensity you doing. See if that makes a difference in how sore you feel.
3. Exercise Is Becoming Difficult
Any good exercise regimen has easy days and hard days. You should have a few days where you push yourself harder and aim for higher goals, and you should also have days where you don’t do as much. This will allow your body time to recover.
How much cardio is too much for a woman or a man trying to keep a regular exercise regimen? If your easy days have become difficult, you’re probably pushing yourself too hard. There should be days in your exercise routine where you breeze through the workout and you don’t feel as much of a challenge. If that’s not happening, then your regimen is too strenuous, and you may need to cut back on the cardio activity.
4. You Have Lost Your Motivation
I’m not talking about your will to live here but rather your desire to exercise. If you don’t feel like doing exercise anymore, that may tell you that you’re going at it too hard. How much cardio is too much cardio? When you dread your workouts every day, you’re probably doing too much.
See if it helps to cut back a little bit and if your motivation returns after a while. That can make a huge difference, boosting your mood and helping you to power your way through more workout sessions with a better attitude about them.
5. You’re Losing a Lot of Weight
How much cardio is too much for fat loss? If you’re trying to lose weight, you may be glad to see the pounds fall off quickly. However, you could be losing weight too quickly to where it’s unhealthy for you. How much weight is safe for you to lose in a short amount of time will depend on your BMI as well as various health factors.
If you’re losing a lot of weight by working out, you could be pushing yourself too hard. You might not be getting enough rest or eating enough food. Just because you’re seeing great gains doesn’t mean you’re becoming healthier. It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor if you’re losing a lot of weight in a short amount of time. There may be some health risks you need to know about that you haven’t noticed yet.
Not all weight loss is good weight loss. You could experience muscle wasting from pushing yourself too hard, not getting enough sleep, and not getting enough protein in your diet. You could also be losing connective tissue, though this is typically related more to overstraining your joints rather than simply losing too much weight. If you’re doing too much cardio, your joints will definitely suffer.
As you can see, there are a lot of risk indicators to watch out for. There’s no upper limit on cardio activity, but if you’re starting to see some of these warning signs, you need to do something about it. Try cutting back on your highest levels of cardiac activity first and see if that improves things for you.