Constant exercise can harm your health

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Athletic burnout: If too much is demanded of the body, physical and mental health suffers

The spring-like temperatures have been attracting joggers and Nordic walkers outdoors for a few weeks now. But if you overdo it with running, swimming and playing tennis, you are harming your health. This is pointed out by doctors and psychologists. Accordingly, not only the size, but also the correct execution of the exercises is important. Otherwise there is a risk of physical and psychological complaints.

Sporty burnout due to physical overload Rainer has been going to the gym for three months. He finally wants to lose weight and give his body a sporty look. The clerk has already lost five kilos through his tight training program, which he does not take a break from at the weekend. But Rainer notes that instead of getting fitter, he is always tired. And yet “sport has to be now,” he says to himself when he exhausts after a long day at the gym. Until one day he just can't do it anymore. His body hurts and the exhaustion is so great that he has to get sick from his family doctor. Rainer suffers from a kind of sporty burnout. He has exhausted himself and invested more energy than he had. The 47-year-old is no exception. Many people ask themselves and their bodies too much. Only when the body goes on strike do they realize that they have been overwhelmed for weeks, months or even years.

"Basically, I would really advise everyone to do sports with a view to the positive effects," explains Prof. Herbert Löllgen from the German Society for Sports Medicine and Prevention to the news agency "dpa". "But there are certain basic training rules that you should stick to."

Healthy exercise: Rule number one "Don't exaggerate!" "Beginners often do not yet have a pronounced physical awareness and can therefore not estimate their stress limit so well," says Oliver Stoll, professor of sports psychology and sports education at the Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg News agency. "It can cause them to overwhelm themselves, which ends in injuries when things go wrong." This is how it always happens to freshly buffed strength athletes who train with too much weight and therefore get pulled or pulled muscles.

Many people train at their limit for long periods. "In the long run, it overloads the organism and it can lead to overtraining syndrome," explains Löllgen. This included symptoms such as exhaustion, cardiac arrhythmia and muscle pain - the sporty burnout that Rainer also had to experience.

Improperly executed training harms health. Mostly, people exercise to become fitter and healthier. To achieve this, amateur athletes should pay attention to the correct execution of the chosen sport. This is as important as a healthy measure. Correct posture and knowledge of basic techniques and movements play an important role. Swimmers who stick their heads out of the water spasmodically while swimming or runners who roll their feet incorrectly are likely to do more harm to their bodies than to achieve health benefits. If there are uncertainties, an experienced athlete should be consulted. This can analyze the movement and give tips for improvement. Unfortunately, some long-standing athletes also make technical mistakes, either unconsciously or because they do not want to be advised. Many also overwhelm themselves.

"As a rule, you know what works and what doesn't if you practice a sport for a while," says Stoll. "But it is advisable to question your training methods from time to time to see whether critical behaviors have crept in." The crowded waiting room of orthopedic surgeons shows what happens if this advice is not heeded: here a "tennis elbow", there a "runner's knee". Serious illnesses can arise from incorrect loading. A long and painful periostitis and severe signs of wear on the joints, bones, tendons and ligaments are often the result. Löllgen also points out that the immune system also suffers if the body is constantly overwhelmed.

Exercise despite injury or illness harms health Some athletes even train when they are sick or injured. Unhealed injuries such as strains and ligament or muscle tears can worsen as a result of the training and even cause permanent damage. "This can be observed, for example, in athletes who feel pressured and are afraid of not meeting external requirements, and of course in so-called sports addicts where the daily training dose is compulsory," explains Jens Kleinert, professor of sports and Health psychology at the German Sport University Cologne opposite the news agency.

Inflammatory diseases such as flu should also be a signal for every athlete to take a break from exercise. Because if you continue to train, you risk death. "There are always people who drop dead because they start a marathon sick. The reason is that infections can put on the heart," reports Löllgen. "If that's the case, exercise can lead to heart failure or even sudden cardiac death." Prominent examples are swimming world champion Alexander Dale Oen and football professional Piermario Morosini. Both died of sudden cardiac death, even though they were young and supposedly fit.

Sport should be fun While one of the big friends feels that doing sports, physical activity is a horror for others. It is therefore important to find a sport that suits you. If jogging is not fun at all, a ball sport or rowing could be the right thing instead. Löllgen advises to always listen to the body. This applies to both the stress limit and motivation. Shortness of breath, chest pain or dizziness are in any case serious signals that can indicate heart or lung problems. Then a doctor should be consulted.

But mental well-being also plays an important role in sport. Usually, physical activity leads to the release of endorphins, which create feelings of happiness. If you play sports that you have to convince yourself of every time, you will most likely not feel any happiness hormone release. “Everyone doesn't feel like exercising, and that's not a bad thing. But if the drive comes completely from the outside and you only ever torture yourself for sport, that's different, ”explains Kleinert. Then the psyche will also suffer. Those affected should look for a sport that suits them better, according to the expert. (ag)

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