0

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Am I exercising too much?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created February 19, 2013 at 1:10 AM

Hi everyone, so glad I found this site!

I'm a new paleo convert, after being vegan for about 6 years. It's been a great transition, and I feel so much better overall now, after about three weeks. I'm not going to get into the specifics of my current eating plan, since that's not the focus of this question.

What I'm wondering is, am I exercising too much for the lack of carbs in the paleo diet? I do Tae Kwon Do three nights a week, for just over an hour. The intensity varies, but I almost always leave sweaty. That's followed by a 30 minute Escrima (stick fighting) workshop, that's mostly upper body work and not as vigorous. Three days a week I also help teach a kid's after school class, but that's not very physically involved for me besides basic demonstrations.

On top of my martial arts training, I do 30 minutes of exercise every day. Most days it's yoga, and if I don't do yoga I walk. I'm changing 2 of my yoga/ walking days into strength training.

My work involves being fairly active on our weekend jobs as well, and I carry lots of heavy gear and stand for long hours in less than ideal environments. I've spent the past 3 weekends in ice arenas for 8 hour stretches each day!

So is this too much activity? Should I tone down what I'm doing and take more rest days? I think I'm going through my 'low carb flu' phase, having been congested with bursts of fatigue late afternoon. I'm normally healthy, and I'm waking up earlier with more energy than I used to have. I can provide more details, I just don't want to post a wall of irrelevant text. Thank you in advance for the answers!

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on February 20, 2013
at 07:00 PM

*not going to get

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on February 20, 2013
at 06:59 PM

In order to look like an animal you not only have to work like an animal, but EAT like an animal. All this low carb hooey is going to get anyone anywhere.

7d46edca72c2f8347f65d7b734d1f1eb

on February 19, 2013
at 11:53 PM

I'm tinkering with carbs and over all calories right now. I'm working out pretty hard while also trying to lose a few pounds, and I wasn't eating enough carbs and I could feel it. No energy, didn't feel right, wasn't losing weight. I added more carbs post workout and feel great now. Fine line to walk eating for body comp and performance at the same time. Right now I'm making performance my priority while being mindful of body comp (which to me means over all calories right now). Still tinkering....

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on February 19, 2013
at 01:11 PM

Hey UncleLongHair... I can only assume that you don't know any serious minded fighters. Sure, right up to weigh-in they subject themselves to some brutal extremes. I'm not exactly speaking on that. There are plenty of men and women who stay (pretty much) in fight shape. I think their downtime would still be considered 'too much' by a lot of the standards suggested around here. Like Britt said, I do believe in rest days, proper nutrition and sleep cycles. These are instrumental in avoiding the injury I mentioned.

2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on February 19, 2013
at 12:32 PM

I agree that people are a bit dramatic with the 'too much exercise" talk. I think that if I posted the amount of time that I spend working out, everyone on here would freak out and tell me i need to cut back asap. I am NEVER tired though, always happy and energized, always feel great... If you exercise a lot, you just need to eat alot and sleep plenty.

2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on February 19, 2013
at 12:29 PM

Exactly. I would increase your carbs if you feel off. That sounds like a very appropriate amount of physical activity to me. I tend to have LOTS of energy and am basically active all day, every day. Everyone varies in how much physical activity their body wants though so if you start to feel tired, then cut back. If you feel good, keep it up!

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on February 19, 2013
at 11:27 AM

It is definitely possible to overtrain, if you are really training hard, your body needs time to recover. The MMA fighters who look really ripped go on an unsustainable diet and workout plan leading up to a fight and then take a break afterwards. Nobody can keep up that level of stress on their body forever.

0b7c3e7fd96005f0b2dfd781e512fc2e

(1237)

on February 19, 2013
at 08:35 AM

How many calories do you eat per day roughly?

1f17fe8167fa0e9b98a06902ea261502

(80)

on February 19, 2013
at 04:12 AM

I took a nap tonight instead of going to class. It was wonderful!

1f17fe8167fa0e9b98a06902ea261502

(80)

on February 19, 2013
at 03:02 AM

thanks for the answer, I'm still figuring all this stuff out ^_^

1f17fe8167fa0e9b98a06902ea261502

(80)

on February 19, 2013
at 02:11 AM

I do eat sweet potatoes, almost every day. And berries, bananas, apples. I'll look at some other carb sources and see what I can add!

1f17fe8167fa0e9b98a06902ea261502

(80)

on February 19, 2013
at 02:10 AM

I feel like I have more energy than I used to! It's hard to tell what is genuine fatigue and what is just my body adapting to a new way of eating.

4610451431ec7155c87a5698be682a95

(1122)

on February 19, 2013
at 01:37 AM

You forgot to say just what carbs you are eating. Some low GI veg. and fruit should be present unless you are going for LC or VLC.

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11 Answers

best answer

0
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on February 19, 2013
at 11:33 AM

I think a lot of the exercise you do is relatively modest in intensity, compared to say crossfit or heavy lifting. You definitely need one or two rest days per week (I personally would count yoga as a rest day unless you're doing serious Iyengar style inverted poses or something) but other than that I would just let your body be your guide. If you are feeling worn out, stressed, can't sleep, or just have frantic, manic energy all the time rather than periods of real relaxation, maybe you should cut back or take some breaks. I think a lot of people such as those of us that sit at a desk all day are envious of your active lifestyle.

At my crossfit gym, people sometimes take a break for 1-2 weeks, usually because some external factor (travel, illness, busy at work). Most hate their time away from the gym, but when they get back after the break usually say that their workouts are better having had the break. If you like your workouts, there is a tendency to never take a break, perhaps in fear of suddenly getting out of shape. But I think breaks are important to give your body time to recover and also to mix it up a bit.

2
06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

on February 19, 2013
at 01:37 AM

Keep up your activity, but eat carbs. Why are you not eating carbs?

2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on February 19, 2013
at 12:29 PM

Exactly. I would increase your carbs if you feel off. That sounds like a very appropriate amount of physical activity to me. I tend to have LOTS of energy and am basically active all day, every day. Everyone varies in how much physical activity their body wants though so if you start to feel tired, then cut back. If you feel good, keep it up!

1
Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

on February 19, 2013
at 03:42 AM

I think all this 'too much exercise' talk is a load of nonsense. Beyond injuring yourself, you aren't going to exercise too much.

Have you ever seen a fighter at the top of their game? I mean a really chiseled, ripped fighter? How do you think they got that way? Backing off their workouts? No.

Now, I'll admit that there may be diminishing results in terms of overall performance if conditioning is favored over skill development.

But, if you work out like an animal, you will look like an animal.

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on February 19, 2013
at 01:11 PM

Hey UncleLongHair... I can only assume that you don't know any serious minded fighters. Sure, right up to weigh-in they subject themselves to some brutal extremes. I'm not exactly speaking on that. There are plenty of men and women who stay (pretty much) in fight shape. I think their downtime would still be considered 'too much' by a lot of the standards suggested around here. Like Britt said, I do believe in rest days, proper nutrition and sleep cycles. These are instrumental in avoiding the injury I mentioned.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on February 19, 2013
at 11:27 AM

It is definitely possible to overtrain, if you are really training hard, your body needs time to recover. The MMA fighters who look really ripped go on an unsustainable diet and workout plan leading up to a fight and then take a break afterwards. Nobody can keep up that level of stress on their body forever.

2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on February 19, 2013
at 12:32 PM

I agree that people are a bit dramatic with the 'too much exercise" talk. I think that if I posted the amount of time that I spend working out, everyone on here would freak out and tell me i need to cut back asap. I am NEVER tired though, always happy and energized, always feel great... If you exercise a lot, you just need to eat alot and sleep plenty.

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on February 20, 2013
at 06:59 PM

In order to look like an animal you not only have to work like an animal, but EAT like an animal. All this low carb hooey is going to get anyone anywhere.

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on February 20, 2013
at 07:00 PM

*not going to get

1
7d46edca72c2f8347f65d7b734d1f1eb

on February 19, 2013
at 02:23 AM

Paleo isn't necessarily low carb unless that approach suits your needs/goals. Amount of carbs should equal your activity level, resulting needs, and goals (ie, performance vs body comp).

1f17fe8167fa0e9b98a06902ea261502

(80)

on February 19, 2013
at 03:02 AM

thanks for the answer, I'm still figuring all this stuff out ^_^

7d46edca72c2f8347f65d7b734d1f1eb

on February 19, 2013
at 11:53 PM

I'm tinkering with carbs and over all calories right now. I'm working out pretty hard while also trying to lose a few pounds, and I wasn't eating enough carbs and I could feel it. No energy, didn't feel right, wasn't losing weight. I added more carbs post workout and feel great now. Fine line to walk eating for body comp and performance at the same time. Right now I'm making performance my priority while being mindful of body comp (which to me means over all calories right now). Still tinkering....

0
8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on February 19, 2013
at 10:40 PM

"Too much" exercise varies A LOT from one person to another, and depends on many factors. Despite being a healthy 34 year old woman of normal weight, I find I overtrain easily. But, I have episodes of eating disorder in my past, some stress in my life, and my sleep is very easily disturbed. My level of exercise would kill some, and be nothing for others. It really comes down to how you are feeling over time. You'll know it's too much if : workouts that were easy become difficult, no strength gains, anxiety/depressed mood, water retention that won't resolve, very tired, and the like.

0
6dc767a3b94cb0133601caf6c39ea218

(330)

on February 19, 2013
at 04:23 PM

When I went from 5-6 days a week to 4, I found I was stronger. I do CrossFit, which is pretty intense. I was getting discouraged that I wasn't improving so I went more often. I realized I wasn't giving my body enough rest to heal. Now, I have to fight the urge to go everyday (since I love it!), but in the past few weeks, I have made great strides!

0
874ff271ca3379984344d5f9f760fec3

on February 19, 2013
at 01:30 PM

You probably need to up your intake of salt and potassium. Once you go under 60 grams of carbs daily, you will definately need extra salt.

1 tsp beef base, 1/2 tsp sea salt and 1 tsp potassium gluconate in a cup of hot water daily would help avoid the 'flu'

0
05a79ce8488b4fd939825cd87ed4fdec

on February 19, 2013
at 03:25 AM

That seems like a lot to me. You need some down time in order for your body to recover and make gains.

If you constantly tax your muscles, they will remain broken down and won't heal to increase mass and strength.

Get some rest!

1f17fe8167fa0e9b98a06902ea261502

(80)

on February 19, 2013
at 04:12 AM

I took a nap tonight instead of going to class. It was wonderful!

0
3ec1b1b21c5b8ca332262822ae82be22

on February 19, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Your exercise regime is actually really good because it has a combination of different workouts. But I do think it's a good idea to have rest days usually rest days are good every second day because you need time for your body to recover. Maybe you could try adding more good carbs to your diet as they do help if you do workout a lot.

1f17fe8167fa0e9b98a06902ea261502

(80)

on February 19, 2013
at 02:11 AM

I do eat sweet potatoes, almost every day. And berries, bananas, apples. I'll look at some other carb sources and see what I can add!

0
4610451431ec7155c87a5698be682a95

(1122)

on February 19, 2013
at 01:21 AM

Funny, but it looks like you are doing interval training in your regular workouts, plus "lifting heavy things" that mark sisson recommends, plus yoga. Sounds like the perfect combination. Do you feel rested?

1f17fe8167fa0e9b98a06902ea261502

(80)

on February 19, 2013
at 02:10 AM

I feel like I have more energy than I used to! It's hard to tell what is genuine fatigue and what is just my body adapting to a new way of eating.

0
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on February 19, 2013
at 01:17 AM

that's way too much activity for me but if it works for your body and you feel good doing it, keep it up. i'd love to have the energy to do all of those things.

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