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I have a problem that might seem a little odd, but I am not dieting and I am losing too much weight. I am training for a marathon, and exercise daily about 2 hours Monday through Friday (running outside mixed with swimming, spin class, body pump, and running on Treadmill). My Saturday workout is always a long run, and my Sunday workout is a short run. I know I am not pregnant, but my last period was 5 months ago. Is this due to too much exercise? Other than the missing period, I feel strong and fine. And I eat healthy meals every 2 to 3 hours. Is this something that I need to worry about?
This is an interesting multi-faceted question. DrSugar and I decided we should both tackle this one. To read what DrSugar has to say about this, just read more.
First, your workout regimen is very impressive and I commend your marathon aspirations. However, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. In women, missed periods are a sign of excessive exercise. There are many different causes of missed periods, but given your exercise routine, over exercise is the most likely cause. The missed periods themselves are not dangerous, but they are a sign that you may be over stressing your body and putting yourself at risk for injury. The loss of periods is a reflection of decreased levels of estrogen, which can lead to osteoporosis. To help prevent this unintended consequence of strenuous exercise it is important to consume adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Other potential detrimental effects of excessive exercise include stress fractures, decreased immune system function, joint problems, headaches, insomnia, and emotional problems. It is important to maintain an adequate caloric intake and to take days off to let your body rest and heal. Good luck with the marathon and remember that there is such a thing as too much training.
Don't forget to read part two of this answer: Part 2 — You Asked: Losing Too Much Weight Running?
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