Exercise is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes, however, women put themselves at risk for developing osteoporosis because they’re exercising too much. It can start at a young age, too.
Federal health guidelines recommend 2.5 hours of exercise at moderate intensity every week. Additionally, you should perform strength-training exercises for your whole body twice a week. If you do much more than this, watch out for these symptoms that you’re overtraining.
- Irregular or missed menstrual periods – Missing your period can indicate a decrease in estrogen levels. Lower estrogen levels can lead to osteoporosis – a disease that makes bones brittle. If you have low estrogen levels when you’re young, it can affect your bone density for the remainder of your life. You may put yourself at risk for bone fractures.
- Extreme thinness – If you’re not sure how much you should weigh to maintain a healthy weight, talk to your health provider.
- Rapid weight loss.
- Exercising despite being sick, tired or having an injury. These are warning signs that you’re working out for the wrong reasons.
- Psychological or physical stress – Feeling depressed, having anxiety, an ability to concentrate, feeling cold all the time, problems sleeping, obsession over weight can all indicate you may be exercising too much.
You should always talk to your health provider if you think you might be overtraining or exercising too much. One way to protect your bone health is to make sure you get enough calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus and magnesium every day. These vitamins and minerals help you build bones and teeth.
Females between the ages of 9 and 18 need 1,300 mg of calcium every day. Dairy products such as low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese are excellent sources of calcium. Women ages 19 to 30 need 1,000 mg of calcium daily.