Could You Be Exercising Too Much? This Is The Cut-Off Point, According To Experts

Don't overdo it or you could end up wrecked rather than ripped.

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When Gigi Hadid was prepping for her first Victoria’s Secret show last year, she was racking up two exercise sessions a day – one HIIT boxing class and one Ballet Barre workout. It’s almost enough to make you feel guilty for your own lack of motivation, until you realise that even Gigi has her downtime. When she’s not getting ready for a catwalk appearance, the model takes at least one rest day from exercise a week to prevent burn-out.

If you’re lucky enough to have found an exercise routine that you’re enjoying and are excited by, it’s the one big question that comes into play: how much exercise is too much? Or more specifically, how often should you be taking a rest day?

Whether you chill out completely on your rest days or incorporate more gentle exercise like walking or cycling, taking a day off from an intense exercise plan is essential to allow your body to fully recover.

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Otherwise you could risk getting injured, burning out or seeing worse results than you would with a more restrained workout plan. After following thousands of joggers for a period across 14 years, Danish scientists last year revealed that those who trained 2 – 3 times a week had the lowest mortality weight, while strenuous joggers (those who jogged at a fast pace for more than three hours a week) had a similar mortality rate to those who didn’t jog at all.

The specifics of how much exercise is too much depend on what level of fitness you’re at and how new you are to the idea of regular training. According to celebrity trainer Jay Cardiello, if you’re at the beginner stages, exercising heavily for more than two days with no rest day is too much. He suggests a rest day every third day as your body gets used to the idea of being consistently challenged.

If you’re more advanced, you can go longer without a rest day, but don’t think you can skip it completely. Jay suggests a rest day at least once a week, plus a de-train week at least once a month where you take down the intensity of your workout plan and bring in more stretches and core control.

Want to get more responsible with your workout? Here are three recovery-friendly essentials you definitely need:

Water bottle
Hydrating before, during and after a workout is key to ensure you replace the fluids lost while you’re sweating. Aim to sip around 200ml of water every 15 – 20 minutes of your workout.

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Happy Jackson Water Bottle, €14.01, ASOS

Foam roller
It might have a super-technical name, but self-myofascial release is basically a DIY massage, usually using a ball or roller and your own bodyweight. By applying pressure to specific muscle groups, you’re aiding recovery, working on knots and trigger points, and ensuring your muscles are healthy, more elastic and ready to perform.

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Nike Textured Knit Foam Roller, €45

Stretching bands
Amp up your post-workout cool down by using resistance bands, great for bodyweight strength training at home too.

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Nike Long-Length Resistance Bands, €17.49 (were €25)

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