Too Much of a Good Thing?
|October 2, 2013||Posted by The Fit Scoop under Uncategorized|
Have you seen this article on CrossFit and rhabdomyolysis? It has gotten a significant amount of attention in the past week. In case you don’t know (I didn’t before reading the articles), rhabdomyolysis is a condition that occurs when muscle tissue undergoes excessive damage and releases toxins into the bloodstream which can result in kidney damage or even failure. Most often the excessive damage is caused by extremely vigorous exercise. Symptoms include intense soreness, swelling, numbness, and discoloration of the urine. The original article on the subject mentions a woman who had to be hospitalized for a week due to the condition and now has permanent muscle damage. The condition apparently isn’t unique to CrossFit, but can occur anytime your muscles are broken down at a rate your body can’t handle. The growth in popularity of high-intensity training like CrossFit, P90X, and Insanity means that cases of rhabdomyolysis are becoming more common.
This is a prime example that there is such a thing as too much exercise. While we tend to think of too much exercise in terms of time spent exercising, it can actually be just as serious of a problem when you exercise too intensely, even for short periods of time. High-intensity training is a very potent form of exercise and while it has numerous health and fitness benefits, it needs to be approached with caution. Unfortunately, I think we can easily get out of touch with our bodies and the cues it gives us to let us know when enough is enough. Even though rhabdomyolysis is still relatively rare, other effects of pushing ourselves past our limit are not such as illness, injury, moodiness, and burnout. I’ll confess that I’ve been guilty of trying to do more than my body could legitimately handle, and it usually resulted in me getting sick or injured. Adding in more rest and easy training days helped me stop the cycle and to really understand that it isn’t the workout that makes us stronger, it’s the recovery after suitably hard training that makes us stronger. Hopefully this recent press on rhabdomyolysis and CrossFit will help educate people as to the dangers of pushing your body past its breaking point.