Sarah Ballantyne, PhD of ThePaleoMom.com recently shared this fabulous article about the potential dangers of over-training. Essentially too much activity can negatively impact your health; causing increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, an activated immune system, and body-wide inflammation. You may have heard this before but it bears repeating; your body does not know the difference between the stress of a lion attack, a near-miss on the freeway,a looming deadline, or (apparently) running a marathon. Any of these experiences can trigger the Fight-or-Flight Response, and hanging out in Flight-or-Fight has serious consequences for your health.
Dr. Ballantyne completely put an end to my vague desire to ‘run a marathon – someday’ when she shared that ‘Up to half of all long-distance runners experience something called runner’s diarrhea (colloquially referred to as “runner’s runs,” “runner’s trots,” or “the gingerbread man”). The symptoms include dizziness, nausea, stomach or intestinal cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea, which occur mainly while running.’. Now that I think about it, I only wanted to run because I have so many friends who have newsfeeds full of pictures of medals and sweaty runner-friend finish line hugs- that’s the part that looks awesome to me – the hugs!
Obviously you DO need to move your body (and what’s excessive for me might be a breeze for you) but it may be time to rethink the whole ‘Go Big or Go Home’ philosophy. Dr. Ballantyne recommends listening to your body, having fun, and ‘getting some moderately-intense activity designed to build strength into your day’ – we couldn’t agree more.