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How Much Exercising Is Too Much?

My 15-year-old daughter has been exercising multiple times a day and it's beginning to take over her life. Can this be bad for her?
- Alysanne

Excessive exercising can indeed be detrimental to your daughter's health. Over-exercising, often associated with eating disorders, can lead to tendon, ligament, bone, cartilage, joint, and muscle damage — and even disruption of the menstrual cycle. Feeling a compulsive need to exercise and having intense feelings of guilt or anxiety over a missed workout are common signs in a teen who over-exercises.

If you think your daughter may be exercising excessively, talk to your doctor for advice. He or she can better evaluate the situation and help you and your daughter find the best way to deal with the situation.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: July 2013