The Negative Impacts of Over-Exercising on Your Mind and Body

Portrait of confident woman exercising in crossfit gym

Too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Over-exercising can lead to physical injuries and even mental distress. Learn about these distressing effects.

Usually, health experts tell you that you need more exercise. It could be because your cholesterol or weight isn’t in healthy levels anymore. Or it could be because your sedentary lifestyle is making you more sluggish. But regular exercise is one thing, but it can turn to over-exercising or overtraining.

Over-exercising is defined as obsessing over physical activities despite physical harm or wanting to stop. It can be caused by several things such as exercise addiction or because you’re insecure about your body image. It can have a profoundly negative impact on your well-being.

The Impacts of Over Exercising

Over-exercising or overtraining can have a profound effect on your body, some of which can be very hard to manage. Regular exercise injuries such as pulled muscles and similar conditions can be occasionally helped by treatments such as the services of a reliable chiropractoror a visit to a hospital. However, over-exercising’s impact can cause a domino effect that exacerbates not only any pre-existing conditions but also the conditions caused by your overexercising. These negative impacts on your mind and body include the following:

  • Poor performance

One of the earliest signs that you’re overtaxing your body through exercising is when you start performing poorly. That can be because of a variety of reasons. Your muscles may be too sore for you to do as many repetitions as you like, or maybe you’re not feeling as mentally motivated. You’ll most likely notice a decrease in your performance levels in endurance-based training focusing on your cardiovascular system.

  • Fatigue

Over-exercising won’t just sap your physical strength; it can also attack your mental endurance. When you exercise too much, you but an immense burden on your body and mind. Your body may not feel up to par and feel more sluggish after prolonged exercise rather than energize you. Your mind may also feel slower, which can affect your reaction times and performance. That can lead to you exercising even more for an energy boost and jeopardizing your health.

  • Heightened cardiovascular stress

Although an appropriate amount of exercise can be great for your cardiovascular health, putting too much stress on your heart for prolonged periods is going to impact your well-being negatively. The more often you over-exercise, the more stress your heart is put under. That can elevate your resting heart rate instead of decreasing it, which is the same thing obesity and other health problems do that exercise is supposed to prevent.

  • Chronic injury

One of the worst effects of over-exercising is that you run the risk of injuring yourself. In a single year alone, almost 460,000 people in the United States were injured while they were exercising or utilizing exercise equipment. The more you exercise, the more chances that you get into a serious accident. Not to mention that over-exercising puts immense strain on your muscular and skeletal systems, which can lead to a serious and lingering injury.

  • Fat retention

Regular exercise is vital in weight loss, but overtaxing your body can cause the opposite effect instead. Fat retention is a symptom of the later stages of over-exercise. Over-exercising can cause a dramatic increase in your body’s stress levels. That, in turn, causes your body to release more stress hormones like cortisol. This hormone can decrease the release of steroid-like substances that help your body build muscles. It’s also responsible for storing adipose tissue in your body, which can lead to weight gain. However, the weight gain caused by the increased cortisol levels may cause you to exercise even more, which won’t help with your health.

  • Appetite change

Your body will try to resist your over-exercising efforts, and one way it will do so is by slowing down your metabolism. That means that your body will crave less food, leading to diminished appetite. Although this seems like the right way for you to lose weight, this will lead to weight gain. Because of the increased cortisol levels in your body, causing fat retention, your body won’t burn through what food you do consume.

  • Affected recovery period

Your body needs time to recuperate between training sessions. Your muscles need time to rebuild, and your joints need a break to avoid developing aches. With regular exercise, your recovery period can be anything between a day or two. However, when you over-exercise, your body will need more and more time to get back to speed. The muscle soreness can take days to go away, and your joints may continue aching.

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body, but like everything else, too much of it isn’t right for you. No matter what the cause for your overtraining, whether its professional pressure or body image problems, seek a healthier alternative to help protect your body from the ravages of over-exercising.

How Lab Personnel Can Cope with Stress

Tired lab personnel resting head on laptop in office

Working in a lab is not always as laid-back as TV shows or movies make it seem. As a lab employee, here’s how you can better cope in this high-stress environment.

Whether you are a medical technologist or a full-time researcher, working in a laboratory can take its toll on both your physical and mental health. Laboratory employees are often exposed to high-stress environments, not to mention the work-related risks that they deal with every day. Moreover, compared to other workplace environments, working in a laboratory doesn’t often provide opportunities for socialization.

High stress levels can burn out even the most seasoned employees. So if you are working in a laboratory, here are some pointers to help you cope with the demands of your job:

1. Look out for the signs of burnout

To prevent a full-blown burnout, you have to recognize the early warning signs before they get worse:

  • Difficulty with simple tasks, such as looking for an autoclave for sale or managing routine activities
  • Easy irritability
  • Sadness, loneliness, guilt, shame
  • A tendency to blame others
  • Feeling indifferent or apathetic
  • Trouble sleeping, nightmares
  • Constant worrying or anxiety
  • Forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating
  • Physical symptoms such as nausea, headaches, dizziness, etc.

When you start noticing signs of high stress levels, it’s time to take a step back and let yourself breathe. Otherwise, you put yourself at risk of the effects of long-term stress, such as mental health problems, cardiovascular disease, nutritional problems, and gastrointestinal issues, among others.

2. Recognize your stressors

What things often cause stress for you in the workplace? Is it impending deadlines? Overbearing co-workers? Demanding tasks? It is vital to recognize the causes of your stress so that you can find ways to avoid them. For example, if you find yourself highly stressed when deadlines are approaching, then you might need to rework your schedule. If it’s your co-workers or supervisors, seek ways to communicate to minimize disagreements or misunderstandings.

While it’s not always possible to avoid stressors in the workplace, finding ways to minimize them is a great place to start when you’re trying to manage your stress.

3. Don’t skip your breaks

It is a common habit for lab workers to skip breaks so that they can keep working. However, not giving yourself enough time to eat or rest throughout the day can do more harm than good. You might be working through your backlogs or speeding through the research, but you might not be doing your best because you’re hungry and tired. Also, you are more prone to making mistakes if your body is stressed due to hunger and fatigue.

Don’t skip your breaks unless you need to. Take your regular lunch breaks to eat, rest, and socialize with others.

4. Set your boundaries

If you are a researcher, the laboratory setting is often a highly competitive environment. As a result, you might feel the need to outperform your colleagues and give your work everything you’ve got.

Working hard is necessary to achieve your goals, yes, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of your physical and mental well-being. Set your boundaries and learn how to say ‘no’ to work that you cannot handle at the moment. It might be tempting to accept every little task thrown at you to look good, but being overloaded with work can lead to underperformance or critical mistakes that derail your research.

5. Increase efficiency

The more efficient you are, the better you can finish your work and leave the lab on time. Remember that the quality of your work is not directly related to the amount of time you spend on it. Hence, being more efficient at what you do is essential to maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

To increase your efficiency, here are some tips that can help:

  • Limit distractions, avoid using personal devices while working
  • Designate a particular time to answer emails, make calls, etc.
  • Prioritize the most difficult and time-consuming tasks
  • Stay organized, keep your workplace free from clutter
  • Maintain a detailed documentation log to avoid confusion later on
  • Determine inefficient processes and find ways to address them
  • Make use of automated technology

6. Take care of your health

Drink plenty of water throughout the day and eat healthy balanced meals. Avoid alcohol, smoking, and recreational drug use. Lastly, get a good amount of exercise, especially if your physical activity is limited in the lab.

It is impossible to eliminate stress in a competitive, high-stress environment such as a laboratory. However, this doesn’t mean you have to learn to live with it. If you want to utilize your full potential and translate that into excellent performance, then you have to put yourself first. Use these strategies to keep your stress levels at bay, and find more ways to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Guided Meditation for Beginners

Guided Meditation for Beginners picture
Guided Meditation for Beginners

Meditation is something that everyone can do but as a beginner it can certainly feel a little strange to sit in silence at first.

Allowing yourself to observe your thoughts without judgement takes practice. The most important thing to remember is that you are not trying to get rid of your thoughts, you are learning how to not be distracted by them, and instead find the deep place of calm we all have within us.

It is about training yourself to become aware of your thoughts, not eliminating them.  You can find some excellent information on the wonderful benefits of meditation here. 

 Firstly make sure that you are sitting comfortably, somewhere where you know you will not be disturbed for the next ten minutes or so.

Ideally, you should sit with your back straight and your hands placed lightly in your lap. You might find it easier to sit in a straight backed chair at first. There’s definitely no need to be in the lotus position. The idea here is to be able to sit easily without discomfort for the duration of the meditation. You could set a timer for anything from five to ten minutes. The longer you practice meditation, the longer you may be able to sit for, but when you are a beginner don’t push yourself to sit for 20 minutes if that seems overwhelming. 

Let’s begin the meditation. 

Bring your attention to your breath as it enters and leaves the body. As you inhale and exhale several times, bring your focus to the present moment with each breath. You can think of the breath as centering your thoughts. Breathe in and out, slow and steady breaths. 

Release any tension held in your shoulders or hands, release any clenching in your jaw. Let your muscles drop as you gently bring your eyes to close shut. 

Continue to follow the rhythm of your breath. Try to focus on the moment between your inhalation and your exhalation. 

If you find yourself distracted just bring yourself back to those inhalations and exhalations. 

Don’t worry about any thoughts that come, just be aware that they are there and then bring your focus back to your breath. 

Think of your thoughts like falling leaves. Allow them to fall around you, but don’t get caught up in their stories.  

Just keep bringing yourself back to the breath.

Begin now to scan through your body, starting at the crown of your head and mentally scanning all the way down to your feet and toes. As your attention floats past each area, notice where you feel tense or relaxed, where you may have discomfort or heaviness, lightness and ease. 

The idea is to build up an image of your body and how it feels. Just spend a few seconds in each area of your body. 

This builds an awareness of your thoughts and feelings as you get used to tuning into how your body feels. 

Let your mind rest in the silence of your breaths for a few more moments, before gently bringing your attention back to the surroundings. Feel your feet on the floor and your hands in your lap.

You can open your eyes whenever you feel ready.

Work Out in Style: Improving Your Workouts with Better Outfits

Research says that wearing the right clothes while working out can improve your physical fitness. Discover how to upgrade your outfits and accessories.

The ongoing health crisis has severely limited people’s work out options. Yoga studios and gyms are either operating at reduced capacities, making it more challenging to schedule a session, or closed entirely. Thankfully, you can keep fit at home through video tutorials or video conferencing sessions with your coaches.

Since you’re working out at home, you may be tempted to dress down, especially if you’re just exercising alone. But did you know that wearing the appropriate clothes can have a noticeable effect on your performance? Discover the magic of enclothed cognition and how to use it to improve your outfits and fitness.

What Is Enclothed Cognition?

Researchers found out that wearing the right clothes for the activity has a measurable effect on your psychology. They call this “enclothed cognition,” and there are two factors that make it happen: the symbolic meaning of your outfits and the experience of wearing them.

You automatically attach meaning to the clothes based on the activities you do while wearing them. For example, a specific pair of gym shorts and a tee might be your exercise outfit, while a pair of comfortable cotton pants and top are your sleeping clothes. Naturally, you will feel more empowered and energized while wearing clothes you associate with exercising.

Of course, wearing these clothes will put you in the mood for their designated activities much faster. Therefore, if you want to improve your physical fitness, you need to upgrade your exercise outfits, mixing their functionality with their psychological effect.

Accessorize Properly

Never underestimate the power of accessories. Not only can these objects reinforce the symbolic power of your workout outfits, but they also offer increased functionality. The right accessories help you feel more comfortable in your outfit while also reflecting your personality. A custom mouth guard combines its protective power with fun, personalized designs. A yoga mat in your favorite color makes you feel more at ease while doing poses. And a customized exercise aid can help you monitor your heart rate and act as a pedometer while also serving as a watch or GPS.

Functionality First

Always prioritize functionality over appearance when choosing workout clothes. Remember that no matter how attractive an outfit or accessory, they need to provide actual support and comfort while you’re working out. A delightful pair of yoga pants may be the perfect color, but the wrong size for you. Although they will look attractive to you, their poor fit will only hinder you. You should also pay attention to the material of your outfits and not just their appearance. Breathable fabrics help keep you cool, and sweat-wickingclothing prevents you from getting drenched. Find outfits made of these materials that are also attractive rather than just focusing on what they look like.

Color Coordinate

Finally, don’t forget the power of colors. The correlation between colors and your mood has been established for decades. Not to mention specific colors can make you appear more appealing. For example, black is a great-looking color while being functional. First, it has a slimming effect on your appearance, which will boost your confidence. Second, black hides stains well. Bright colors can also give you more energy, so choose clothing that is red, blue, or yellow for livelier feel.

Just because you’re working out at home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress for the occasion. By wearing the right clothes, you make it easier for you to achieve your fitness goals.

Yoga Accessories Every Newbie Needs to Have

Are you interested in practicing yoga but hesitant about what to wear or use? Here are some necessary things to help you start on your road to wellness.

Joining a yoga class for the first time can make one feel a little out of place. There are worries about what should be the right clothing or equipment that you will use. There seems to be a lot of advertising about the best type of clothing that one would need to join a class or enter a yoga studio. The truth is, one would need a few essentials to get started. You can start a home practice and use anything you are comfortable with or get some yoga-specific items for your first class. Here are the things you might want to invest in.

Clothing

Studios and gyms require students to wear something appropriate for a class. But it doesn’t mean that you have to score designer gears to start practicing some asanas. Ideally, you can get comfortable clothing that is made from breathable athletic fabric. You won’t go wrong with solid-colored yoga pants. If you are not comfortable wearing tight pants, try jogger style and harem pants that are stretchy, but stays in place. Shorts are a popular choice for men practicing yoga, and there are also some made for women.

Additionally, it is also essential to wear tops that are somewhat form-fitting so that it won’t leave you uncovered during bends. Women are advised to wear a sports bra to keep you comfortable transitioning between poses.

Yoga Mat

Yoga mats or sticky mats are typical in studios and gyms. It defines your space and creates an area with traction so you won’t slip when you are sweaty.

These mats also give some cushioning from the hard floor. Most studios offer yoga mats for rent if you attend their classes. While it may be a good idea at first, you have to realize that many people might also rent it out. And you are not sure how often they are cleaned. Thus, it is best to buy your own yoga mat. Premium ones are expensive; however, you can get something affordable, too. Consider the features such as the length, thickness, traction, comfort, and durability before you buy a mat.

Optional Yoga Items

If you are moving forward with your practice, you may also be interested in getting some optional equipment. These items help keep a healthy alignment as you perfect poses, twists, opening up, and bends. Soon, you will become more familiar with the props, and you can decide whether you need to buy or just use the ones in the gyms. Some of these items include:

Mat Slings or Bags – these will be useful if you own a mat that you will use in the studio or gym. It will make rolling and carrying the mat easier for you. In some instances, yoga mats come with a sling or bag. However, there are products with additional features like extra pockets and storage.

Blocks – these items will help you improve your poses while you remain comfortable and aligned. These are typically made of cork, foam, or wood, and they come in different sizes. These are usually provided in class or studios.

Learning yoga and perfecting poses is not only a fun exercise. It benefits the body, mind, and spirituality. Many people find yoga to be beneficial to them in terms of peace, mindfulness, and pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. It is easy to start a yoga practice at home, but it can also be extra fun to join a class.

Different Types Of Meditation. What Is Right For You?

Meditation is an ancient practice of connecting with soul and experience calmness and tranquility.    Meditation is about consciousness, creating inner awareness, and discovering peace within.

Let’s meditate

Today, among various kinds of stress and competition, meditating is important and therefore gaining much popularity as well. There are many ways of doing it, just you need to do it with perfection to be your great help.

Types of meditation

  1. Mindfulness
  2. Focused
  3. Spiritual
  4. Movement
  5. Mantra
  6. Transcendental

Every practice needs different skills and mindset. Here we tell you which meditation suits you and your purpose. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of meditation and how to get started.

1. Mindfulness meditation.

This finds its origin in Buddhist teachings and has become a popular technique for meditation in the west. With this, you attend to your thoughts. You stop judging or don’t get negatively involved by them. You also focus on your breath as you observe your thoughts and feelings.

This is best for those who want to self-practice.

2. Focused meditation.

This is to practice concentrating using the five senses.  People may use a stringed-bead, listen to a song, or stare at a light source for better focus. One must stop his or her mind wandering away while practicing to focus.

3. Spiritual meditation.

This is used mainly in eastern religions like Daoism and Hinduism and also in Christian faith. It is like praying and reflecting with silence and seeking a better connection with God and the cosmos.

Essential oils can heighten spiritual experience. Popular options include Frankincense oil, Myrrh oil, Sage oil, Delta 8 THC oil, Cedar oil, Sandalwood oil and Palo santo oil.

This can be practiced at home or in places of worship. This helps in spiritual growth.

4. Movement meditation.

Many may think this is just yoga, but it could be any kind of movement like gardening, walking through woods, and any gentle form of motion. It is a kind of meditation where your motion guides you. Movement meditation is best for people who find peace doing action.

5. Mantra meditation.

You will find this practice prominent among many regions like  Hinduism and Buddhism. This type of meditation depends on repetitive sounds to concentrate and feel calm. It can be the use of sound, word, phrase, or the most popular chanting of  “Om”.

6. Transcendental meditation.

This is the most scientifically studied meditation and very popular across the world. This is a customized practice with specifications for the practicing person.

The simplest thing, to begin with, is to sit quietly and focus. You can begin with a short duration and keep extending the timing.

Benefits of meditation

There are many supporting shreds of evidence of meditation.

  • Less anxiety
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced pain
  • Ease depression
  • Improve sleep

Those who follow a meditation routine can experience the benefits mentioned.

Winding-up

Whatever be your reason to meditate, you will experience the benefits. Maybe you are looking for mental peace, lower your stress, psychological calmness, spiritual growth, find comfort in stillness or motion, there is a mediation practice for you. You may try within your comfort zone or practice something outside of it. With a little exploration, you will know what suits you best.

Meditation is to focus. It cannot be forced. This is a practice that also encourages self-discipline in you. With regular practice, this will help you sustain in life’s challenges, and make the process enjoyable as well.

There are many different types of meditation, open yourself with the one that motivates you to find yourself. It is very essential to stay connected with yourself when there is every scope to lose yourself in the chaos around.