Walking is one of the best ways to keep fit but only when you do not overdo it. Will it keep you more fit if you walk more? Only to some extent, after which excess walking can backfire. But how much is too much?
Well, there is no one-fit formula. How many steps you take a day may be half of what your neighbor gets per day. So, the number of steps or distance that is too much for you may not be for the other person.
This article is an attempt to educate you on how too much walking or too much exercise can affect your effort to be fit and healthy.
The point beyond which walking or exercise can do more harm than good is known as overtraining syndrome (OTS). The condition can decrease your fitness level and may cause injury.
How too much walking can affect your health
Both males and females are at risk of developing the overtraining syndrome. Given below are the signs that can indicate that you are overstraining yourself.
Decrease in the distance of the walk
Too much walking can decrease your capacity of distance covered and it can also affect the rhythm of your walk. As excess walking affects the body’s strength, and ability to move and decreases the body’s ability to withstand wear and tear of muscles and tissues.
Heart rate takes time to normalize
It is normal for the heart to keep pace with the physical activities you perform. But then too much walking may cause the heart rate takes a longer time to return to the normal rate.
You feel too much tired
Walking or exercising beyond a certain level indicates using too much energy. This causes fatigue, which is normal to occur at times. But when the body is constantly under physical stress there is an accumulation of fatigue and the body does not get time to recover. Over time, it leads to a deficiency of fuel or energy in the body.
Loss of appetite
Generally, when you consume the fuel(energy) for a walk, there is an urge to fulfill the lost energy through foods and drinks. But walking beyond the limit can suppress your appetite.
Sleep repairs your mind and body but too many stress hormones can be an obstacle to your sound sleep.
Mood swings or anxiety
The imbalance of hormones especially cortisol and epinephrine affect the mood, and concentration or causes irritation or anxiety.
Walking beyond a certain level puts too much stress on muscles and joints causing painful joints. The problem can persist beyond two weeks.
Affects the body’s metabolism
Constant low energy in the body can lead to the deficiency of important nutrients. For example, iron deficiency can cause anemia. The metabolic disturbance is known to cause heart problems, digestion issues, and reproductive health problems.
Mental health is affected
The imbalance of hormones causes chronic sleep disturbance leading to stress, depression, or other mental health problems.
Walking brings with it a lot of health benefits. But one needs to listen to their body and know when to stop and relax. Prefer a light daily walk rather than an intense workout or walking beyond a certain level. So walk, rest, relax, eat healthy food, and walk are a mantra to be fit and healthy.