Do intensive exercises cause better results?

There's no doubt that physical activity is connected with many benefits for our bodies. When we exercise, we have more energy, better mood and the brain is oxygenated better and it works more efficiently. We often add further training sessions or we increase the intensity and expect better results. Does more mean better?

There are many factors which influence the results of our effort. Health is one of them. Also hormones have large influence on the results. But the key factor is stress and two substances strictly connected with it – cortisol and DHEA excreted by the adrenal glands.

When you add further training sessions to your workout plan and/or increase their intensity, and neglect recovery, as well as proper supply of nutrients at the same time, you can disturb the balance between DHEA and cortisol.

As a result of stress, which is excess amount of exercises, fatigue or starving, the body produces large amount of cortisol. This hormone is catabolic.

Then you may have problems with building muscle tissuue, the level of glucose is unstable and you gather body fat easily. It's worth mentioning that catabolism does not only concern muscles. Also bones may be catabolised, as well as inner organs. It happens because cells lack amino acids. Constant breaking the proteins in bone tissue increases the risk of developing ostheoporosis. The same process may also lead to decreasing inner organs.

Diet which is too poor in nutrients, together with intensive or too frequent training sessions, also influences significantly the excretion and conversion of thyroid hormones. The level of estrogens often rises, too. All of that causes that the pace of metabolism is slower.

Exercises should be always adjusted individually, taking under consideration health, the amount of time for recovery, mood, or other stress factors present in life.

It's not a good idea to exercise too intensively when the cortisol excretion is disturbed, with leaking intestine, autoimmune disease, inflammation, hypothyroidism or nutrients insufficiency.

If you notice poor recovery after physical effort, sleepiness after workout, weight fluctuation, irritation, problems with motivation or various level of appetite, it's time to spend more time on recovery and modify dietetic and training plans.

Remember, that exercises should energise and not takie it away from you. More does not always mean better. Adding further training sessions or increasing their intensity may bring opposite result from what you expected. Especially when you don't care properly about recovery and nutrition.