Maintaining physical fitness and the overall health of the body is of great importance in the life of every single individual. This is why doctors recommend people to exercise on a regular basis. There are a lot of different ways in which physical exercises can be performed. Some prefer to jog in the park, some like to lift heavy weights in the gym, while others love to engage in intriguing sporting activities. Whichever form of exercise you choose, it is important for you to be consistent and not overdo it. Yes, you heard that right. Exercising in excess can be a bad thing. As a matter of fact, going overboard with your exercise routine can contribute to hair loss.
Heavy Training and Stringent Weight Loss Diets
It is very common for people who are looking to shed several pounds in a short amount of time to experience significant hair loss. This is because these people tend to follow a very physically demanding exercise routine in addition to adhering to a crash diet geared towards achieving drastic weight loss.
There is nothing wrong with being a hard worker in the gym or limiting your consumption of food. In fact, doctors recommend people to exercise on a daily basis and control their food intake in order to improve the overall health of their body and mind. Indeed, regular exercise and a regulated diet can help ward off a number of horrible diseases and ailments including obesity and diabetes.
However, it is important for people to remember that too much of anything is not good. Which is why, individuals who exercise a lot more than what their bodies can handle and who eat much less than what their bodies need are prone to suffering from considerable hair loss.
Research on Excessive Exercise and Hair Loss
The connection between excessive exercise and noticeable hair loss has not been made on the basis of weak assumptions. Recent studies, conducted by high profile medical professionals, has provided ground for us to believe that high level exercise training leads to uncontrollable hair loss. When a person consistently engages in excessive exercise, the hair follicles enter the telogen phase at a very early stage.
The telogen phase is one of the two stages that a hair follicle can be in. The other phase is known as the growing phase. In order to have a head full of strong, dense and thick hair, a person needs his or her hair follicles to be in the growing phase for as long as possible. If the hair enters the telogen phase prematurely, it will fall off the scalp quicker than it is supposed to. As a result of this, hair loss takes place which leaves the person with exposed bald patches and spots on the head.
Excessive Exercise and Stress
You might be wondering why training heavily has adverse effects on the growth of your hair. It all boils down to the impact that excessive training has on your body. When you exercise or train more than what your body is designed to cope with, an incredible amount of stress is imposed on you both mentally and physically. Stress is responsible for a number of different unpleasant and unwanted disorders, including hair loss. In fact, stress is one of the major causes of hair loss in millions of people around the world today.
Stress does not only trigger hair fall, but it also contributes to permanent hair loss by aggravating the effects of male pattern baldness. Male pattern baldness is a genetic predisposition which people suffer from when they have unfavourable balding genes passed on to their genetic composition from that of their mother or father or both.
Over-Exercising Affects Women More
A strenuous and exhausting exercise routine can have a greater negative impact on a woman than a man. This because of how reproductive hormones fluctuate in the bodies of women. Heavy training and the stress associated with it leads to a reduction in the level of estrogen and a rise in testosterone. This disrupts the menstrual cycle in a woman’s body and causes hair loss in the long run. If this hormonal imbalance takes a severe form, the bones in a woman’s body can be adversely affected as well.
It is also worth noting that women are more prone to shifts in the hormone levels. When women engage in excessive exercise, their bodies produce huge quantities of testosterone. Testosterone can be converted into DHT, which is known to make hair follicles smaller and hair shafts thinner.
Defining Excessive Exercise
Each person’s body is different from that of the other. Varying bodies have varying physical requirements and tolerance levels. You might have the capacity to pull off a hundred push ups on a good day. However, the person next to you might be incapable of performing even a couple of push ups. These variations in the physical abilities of strength, agility, stamina and resilience make it difficult for us to define “excessive exercise”.
Thankfully, the medical professionals and experts have come to a conclusion on the amount of daily exercise we need to stay healthy without losing our hair. Daily exercise sessions should not stretch longer than 45 minutes or an hour. This is applicable for any form of exercise including jogging, swimming, running or walking. People are also advised to not exercise for more than five days a week.