It is essential to perceive that exercise is a stress, which, as with all forms of stress, is good, simply so long as we are not exposed to excessively of it, for too long. We require periods of stress, in this case exercise, punctuated with periods of rest.
And, in this case ‘rest’ includes good nutrition, sleep, hydration and relaxation, but if we keep pushing the exercise boundaries, without mirroring this with our rest and regeneration strategies, we will almost certainly hit the wall at some point.
For the vast majority of us, it is not an issue of over-training, rather under-recovering. Our bodies are equipped for more than we think, but our early mornings, late nights, lack of quality sleep, inconsistent nutrition and overall stress levels will only permit us to push ourselves so far.
In the event that if we ignore this, we will get to be physically and mentally drained, the quality of our training will drop, and we will not get the results that our time spent in the gym deserves.
Most of us would do far better to limit our tough gym sessions to two or three per week, coupling this with daily walks/strolls, or less intense forms of movement.
This is especially true for those of us who are older, as our ability to recover declines, and for those of us who do not live the life of a part-time athlete, which we would need to adopt of we were serious about pushing our exercise boundaries.
We must remember that if we want the best overall results, we should only exercise to the degree to which we can recover.