Could Working Out Be Sabotaging Your Gut Health?

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You probably hear about the benefits of regular exercise on the reg, but one serious topic that doesn't get brought up a whole lot? Overdoing your fitness regimen. One doc says overexerting yourself could even be sabotaging your gut health.

According to an article B.J. Hardick, DC, wrote for mindbodygreen, all those hours you log at the gym do pay off—until they start costing you, that is.

Overexercising can stress out your body, leading to leaky gut, a condition that increases inflammation and increases susceptibility to autoimmune disorders and metabolic diseases, like type 2 diabetes. —Dr. Hardick

Overexercising can stress out your body, which is bad news for your digestion: Stress can cause leaky gut, a condition that not only increases inflammation but also makes you more susceptible to autoimmune disorders and metabolic diseases, like type 2 diabetes, Dr. Hardick said.

"Your intestinal barrier keeps out food particles and other things that shouldn’t go through, but when it becomes loose, things not intended to get through the wall suddenly do," Dr. Hardick said. "What results is intestinal permeability, more commonly called leaky gut."

There are many ways to keep leaky gut at bay: Eat a healthy diet, get the recommended amount of sleep, keep your stress levels in check, and—most importantly—just listen to your body. There's nothing wrong with taking a rest day or keeping your workouts light.

When you don't give your body time to recover, it simply won't. So don't go overboard when it comes to your workout routine in order keep your body (and gut) happy and healthy.

Here's why Selena Gomez swears by rest days—and why you should too. Still not convinced? This expert reveals why rest days aren't optional.

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